The Problem With Intellectuals

By: sebastianjer , 12:25 PM GMT on February 21, 2012

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The Problem With Intellectuals

By Richard F. Miniter

Isn't long past time that conservatives take a pitchfork in one hand and a flaming torch in the other, and then, after mustering up the like-minded, simply burn Frankenstein's castle down? Especially since as far back as 1942 George Orwell pointed out just how combustible the Left-Wing Liberal edifice really is?

After all, it isn't as if we haven't tried reasoned argument, but it's dismissed by the Left-Wing Liberal, often with vicious personal attacks. Evidence of the idiocy or unintended consequences of left-wing laws, regulations, and redistributions haven't mattered at all either. Neither have appeals to tradition, the Constitution, the concept of individual responsibility or rights. It's true that the left received a bloody nose in 1946, 1994, and 2010, while the Reagan years covered his aggressively pro-American foreign policy in glory, but ever since that long-ago Supreme Court wilted under FDR's animosity, government has continued to metastasize, individual rights have continued to shrink, and this once-magnificent Republic has continued to lose ever more substance and color.

So all in all, what choice do we have other than to go after the one individual whose horrible vulnerability Orwell pointed out? The one individual upon whom the entire Left-Wing Liberal movement depends, and must depend for its galvanic power -- the liberal intellectual?

And what is an intellectual?

Well, the dictionary definition is one thing, but what we commonly mean by the term isn't a Ph.D. in physics. And neither do we so call those highly educated in such disciplines such as engineering, math, chemistry, quantum mechanics, metallurgy, and medicine intellectuals. Instead, we usually hang the label on those really, really smart people who pursue advanced degrees in social work. Or, for that matter, art history, leftist helpless economics, women's studies, community studies, and education (I'm leaving a lot out here). Although it should be pointed out that David Mamet throws the net much wider with his "increasingly affluent and confused" definition, and "confused" is often a dead giveaway. However, with Jean-Paul Sartre, the famous French intellectual, once describing human history as "a long and arduous road which led to me," perhaps confusion accompanied by an exorbitant sense of self-importance might be a better rule of thumb.

Be that all as it may, almost the first thing we learn about intellectuals when we examine them a bit more closely is that they are not historically important. They didn't for example fight the American Revolution or write the Constitution. They also had little or maybe nothing at all to do with the Industrial Revolution or with English Common Law (except recently in its corruption). Left-Wing Liberal intellectuals didn't write Shakespeare, paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, or teach us how to can peas.

They are, in point of fact, a relatively recent phenomenon in Western civilization which Paul Johnson wonderfully describes in his eye-opening book Intellectuals as:

... [a group of educated] men who arose to assert that they could diagnose the ills of society with their own unaided intellects: more, that they could devise formulas whereby not merely structure of society but the fundamental habits of human beings could be transformed for the better.


In this light, we can turn to the intellectual's intellectual, Karl Marx, for a more detailed illustration. A man who is to this day renowned by a vast fawning claque for his insights about capital and factory systems. But yet a man who, insofar as can be determined, never had a acquaintance or a source with any experience in the capital markets except an uncle he tried to borrow money from and never, again insofar as can be determined, ever once visited a factory, mill, shipyard, mine, or foundry in order to find out firsthand what was going on there.

Instead, Karl Marx spent a tantrum-laden lifetime relying on his "unaided intellect" to arrive at what conclusions he did about these things. Close to thirty years hidden in a library intellectualizing about how a rapidly industrializing society could and should be "transformed." (Not in the best humor, I might add, because he invariably screamed "I will annihilate you" at anybody who even timidly questioned one of his ideas.)

A man who raped (the actual term I'm interpreting here is "made her his mistress") the middle-aged, mentally challenged, and unpaid servant of his wife, whose two of three daughters committed suicide, who never supported his family other than by begging or running out when the rent was due and whose work product proved an absolute disaster for numerous peoples. Cost millions of them their lives and wrecked vast nations. Yet a man whose theories are lauded and applauded for their insight in hundreds of university faculty lounges across the world, including our own.

But, one might ask, Karl Marx is one thing -- we can all agree he was a nutcase (or at least we should) -- but don't any of these intellectual folk ever come up with a good idea? After all, there's an awful lot of them with an awful lot of ideas.

Both the short and long answer to that question are no. And the reason is because despite all of the propaganda about "scientific" socialism, few of the left-wing intellectuals practice the scientific method. They don't posit a hypothesis and a null hypothesis; their results can't be replicated by disinterested parties; in fact, they don't even have any results they want verified. Instead, what they want you to do is accept their insights without any tangible proof at all, and if you don't? Well, they might couch their response in somewhat different terms, but it boils down the same message Marx screamed at slackers: "I will annihilate you."

Of course, the use of the personal pronoun is misleading because while intellectuals might want to annihilate you, they're not exactly men of action themselves. Instead, like when Lenin called in the Letts to murder the sailors at Kronstadt or certain unnamed leaders of a certain unnamed political party called in SEIU things to beat up a black Tea Party vendor, they always have somebody else handle the wet work.

Indeed, intellectuals are so distant from the fray that they don't operate in the same world with the same rules as yours and mine. In an intellectual's magic mind, there isn't necessarily any force of gravity, any love which binds families together, any individual incentives -- no rights or obligations which can't be magically transformed to suit his visions. In fact, the intellectual complains, "but that's not the way we want it to be" (hat tip to David Mamet again) when forced to confront certain facts or facts of life.

Because, and this is very important, the intellectual honestly believes that he's smarter than all that. Smarter than the tidal pull of the moon, smarter than market forces, smarter than Ben Franklin, smarter than your mom.

And the reason why the intellectual is so blithely uncaring about the opinion of the untermenschen is because he also believes that once his theory is in force, you will change. Be transformed. You and your habits. Your loves and affections, your values and beliefs.

Hmmm? Change? Transform? Who does that remind you of?

Am I overstating the case about the truly awful hollowness of these people? I don't believe so -- indeed, I may be understating it, because some really bright people like Dr. Thomas Sowell make the same point in an even more sweeping manner (see An Ignored 'Disparity': Part II).

But then where is their weakness? Moreover, how could they possibly have any weaknesses when facts don't count, morality doesn't count, history doesn't count, and what the average person believes or wants or desires out of life doesn't count?

Which is our cue to turn to exactly what George Orwell wrote in 1942 in "H.G. Wells, Hitler and The World State 1941":

The energy that actually shapes the world springs from emotions -- racial pride, leader-worship, religious belief, love of war -- which liberal intellectuals mechanically write off as anachronisms, and which they have usually destroyed so completely in themselves as to have lost all power of action.

And so here is the Left-Wing Liberal intellectual's weakness. His one horrible vulnerability: the fact that for all practical purposes the fairy castle in his mind is surrounded by a moat of extremely volatile liquid energy. The energy which "actually shapes the world" and which he pretends can't even see and certainly doesn't have any "power" over. Genuine emotion.

After all, consider what two emotions consistently hand the Left-Wing Liberal the occasional defeat he does suffer in America: religion and patriotism. The Evangelicals and the patriots almost all by themselves represent the only two forces the Left-Wing Liberal has no power against. Love of God and love of country. Two emotions destroyed so completely in Left-Wing Liberal intellectuals that they don't even understand them any longer. Can't explain them and, in truth, can only fear, ridicule, and try to marginalize them.

But is that it? Luckily, no, because there are any number of other emotions conservatives can unleash. Other pools of genuine emotion conservatives can out alight. Love of life. Love of place, fair play, and justice. Revulsion at vote-buying with your money, incompetence and arrogance in public education, character assassination. Fury at losing the ability even to choose a toilet or light bulb. Hatred of the judges and lawmakers who embrace social theories which release horrible criminals to prey on our sons and daughters. Umbrage at being talked down to. The list is endless in its specificity. In truth, there's an ocean of angst and rage and love and imagination on issue after issue out there on the hustings, more than sufficient.

All we have to do is put a match to them.

Even if an appeal to emotion seems counter-intuitive for the reasoning party. Even if we will inevitably be labeled a "bomb-thrower," a "racist," "homophobe," callous," "uncaring," "partisan," or "extreme."

So in that spirit I offer the following list of emotion-laden talking points and bumper stickers for the November election:

POVERTY IS A DECISION

HELP US STOP PLANNED PARENTHOOD FROM KILLING BLACK BABIES

TEACH GAY KIDS ABOUT STRAIGHT SEX

WHY WON'T THE OCCUPIERS OCCUPY THEIR OWN MINDS?

HIGHER SCHOOL TAXES EQUALS LOWER PROPERTY VALUES, MORE TEACHERS AND DUMBER KIDS

THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY IS SOCIALISM'S MIGRANT DAY LABOR
WELFARE RECIPIENTS CONTRIBUTE NOTHING TO SOCIETY EXCEPT A BODY TEMPERATURE OF 98.6

HE THAT DOESN'T WORK, NEITHER SHALL HE EAT

LIBERALS ARE BY DEFINITION ANTI-AMERICAN

THE NATIONAL DEBT EQUALS THE AMOUNT OF MONEY SPENT ON THE "POOR" SINCE 1964, SO MAKE THEM PAY IT

JESUS OFFERED INDIVIDUAL SALVATION NOT A UNION DEMANDING INCREASED BENEFITS

NANCY PELOSI CAME FOR YOUR TOILET BOWL AND LIGHTBULBS, NOW OBAMA WANTS YOUR TOILET PAPER AND FLASHLIGHT

REQUIRE PUBLIC SCHOOL TEACHERS TO PASS A LITERACY TEST
YES THERE ARE TOO DEATH PANELS

TOO BAD THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION MADE LEFT-WING STUPIDITY CHEAPER AND MORE ABUNDANT TOO

BAN SOCIAL WORK

EVER MEET A PSYCHOLOGIST WHO DIDN'T HAVE BIG ISSUES HIMSELF? THINK ABOUT WHAT THAT MEANS

THE EPA HAS NO VISION OF THE FUTURE THAT INCLUDES ANY HUMAN BEINGS

PUBLIC ASSISTANCE LACKS INDIVIDUAL PRIDE

PRESERVE LIBERTY FOR OUR CHILDREN, NOT FOOD STAMPS

POSTURING LIBERALS ARE ONE THEORY SHORT OF A THOUGHT
NO SAFETY NET, SOME PEOPLE NEED THE IMPACT

PRAYER IS FREE SPEECH

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42. sebastianjer
4:54 AM GMT on February 22, 2012
Rookie

Understandable, If I remember correctly the study on the glaciers was from 2002. The authors in no way made any indication that they were in the least bit skeptical of man made global warming as I recall. They were (are) US Government scientist who have written many studies on glaciers. Since originally reading this I have learned though I can not put my hands on the info right now that the predominant glacier fields in Glacier National Park are no more than 3000 years old. So their existence is well within the Holocene Epoch.

It is countless "actual" facts like these that tear the AGW theory to shreds for anyone willing to look at it objectively. Before I was a skeptic or even knowledgeable on the subject the first skeptical person I read on the topic was the man considered the God Father of Modern Climatology Reid Bryson. The very first thing I read was something similar to the point I am trying to make. From that article:

Bryson mentions the retreat of Alpine glaciers, common grist for current headlines. “What do they find when the ice sheets retreat, in the Alps?”

We recall the two-year-old report saying a mature forest and agricultural water-management structures had been discovered emerging from the ice, seeing sunlight for the first time in thousands of years. Bryson interrupts excitedly.

“A silver mine! The guys had stacked up their tools because they were going to be back the next spring to mine more silver, only the snow never went,” he says. “There used to be less ice than now. It’s just getting back to normal.”


Common sense trumps intellectual masturbation every time
Member Since: August 26, 2005 Posts: 1030 Comments: 11197
40. Some1Has2BtheRookie
4:03 AM GMT on February 22, 2012
Quoting theshepherd:
Wow!!!

Just mention "intellectuals" in the header...and here they come.

I can think of a few we are missing here...but the night is young.

I think we need a new professional designation ...Googleologist

This is for those who have to google their responses, of course.







I believe that you have an insatiable appetite for the taste of shoe leather, theshepherd. Have you not paid any attention to the fact that our host rarely uses his own words for his topic of discussion and for many of his own posts? Nearly everything our host posts are articles straight off of the Internet. The very topic of this blog is directly from the "American Thinker". His replies also contain links from the Internet. I do not suggest that our host must rely on the Internet for his topics nor for his responses. I do suggest that he, as I, do not expect that everyone believe what we post simply because we have posted it. Our host includes links that supports his comments. Now, if anyone here is willing to accept my posts, at face value, I will gladly dispense with the Internet searches/links and post my responses based simply on what I already know and I am convinced that everyone else already knows as well. I may, however, find myself consuming nearly as much shoe leather as do you. Unlike you, I have not yet developed a taste for it. I will imagine that the taste for shoe leather is an acquired taste. Would this be correct, or did you have an instant liking to the taste?

Sebastinjer, if you do not mind, I would like to do some Google searches on the information you responded to me with. I did not a see a date attached to the, "Glaciers of North America" article. I will respond to your response, as time allows for me to do so. As with you, I have a real job and my job sometimes, as with tonight, carries over into the after hours.
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 4948
39. theshepherd
2:31 AM GMT on February 22, 2012
36. Ossqss 4:41 PM EST on February 21, 2012 +0
Do Glacierlectuals count too ? :)



...only on tuesdays

ROFLMAO





'lectual hater
;)


Member Since: September 11, 2008 Posts: 10 Comments: 10229
38. theshepherd
2:28 AM GMT on February 22, 2012
34. sebastianjer


You're hired

:)


The sound of silence is thundering...
Member Since: September 11, 2008 Posts: 10 Comments: 10229
37. Ossqss
9:48 PM GMT on February 21, 2012
BTW, if anyone would really like a peek into the IPCC, you need to read this book. I read it twice and was still amazed at the deception that abounds within that and many other underlying structures that support the "Cause".

Even the cover made me scared :)

http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2011/11/17/ comments-on-the-delinquent-teenager-who-was-mistak en-for-the-worlds-top-climate-expert-by-donna-lafr amboise/

Member Since: June 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8192
36. Ossqss
9:41 PM GMT on February 21, 2012
Do Glacierlectuals count too ? :)



http://www.glerl.noaa.gov/pr/ourlakes/background. html




Member Since: June 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8192
35. sebastianjer
9:35 PM GMT on February 21, 2012
One thing I left out from my post below. I always forget to point out this statement in the IPCC report. Remember this is about the "enhanced greenhouse effect" which is the theory of "climate change". The IPCC in their report says

"It is believed that the overall effect of the feedback amplifies the temperature increase to 1.5 to 4.5C"

Believed? not proven- believed?

The entire world is being lashed at the whipping post of this scientific madness and the best they can come up with for the very thing that the entire "theory" depends upon is "it is believed"

Utter insanity, utter idiocy, utter foolishness
Member Since: August 26, 2005 Posts: 1030 Comments: 11197
34. sebastianjer
9:16 PM GMT on February 21, 2012
Thank you for your response Rookie and in fact you hit on the very points I wish to make.

We shall start with the glaciers first. Consider this paper from the U.S. Geological Survey titled

Glaciers of North America—
GLACIERS OF THE CONTERMINOUS UNITED STATES
GLACIERS OF THE WESTERN UNITED STATES
By ROBERT M. KRIMMEL

With a section on GLACIER RETREAT IN GLACIER NATIONAL PARK, MONTANA
By CARL H. KEY, DANIEL B. FAGRE, and RICHARD K. MENICKE


In this very extensive scientific study we find these tid bits:

All named glaciers within the park are mountain glaciers that have retreated dramatically since the middle 19th-century end of the Little Ice Age in the Western United States.


So we know and it is not disputed, the fact that the glaciers in Glacier National Park (I am using Glacier National Park as an example for the whole melting glaciers meme)started melting long before the invention of the internal combustion engine. So the beginning of the melting could have nothing to do with CO2 but rather the end of the little ice age. But the more important issue is something you said

"Unless you are suggesting that the glaciers in, Glacier National Park, have a history of being short lived (200-300 years) then what is the relevance of this question?

Well I am not suggesting that completely but the authors of this study do though not quite that short of time period.

Because of the apparently long and relatively stable climatic interval preceding the Little Ice Age, it is believed that most of the glacier ice remaining in Glacier National Park was formed during the Little Ice Age and is not a relic from the Pleistocene Epoch...


So not only do these scientist say that the period prior to the Little Ice Age was "long and relatively stable" which was disrupted by the LIA, they are saying that "most of the glacier ice remaining in Glacier National Park was formed during the Little Ice Age"

So it was warmer before the LIA and then it got colder and (from the same study):

The Little Ice Age comprised a several-hundred-year-long cool period(about 1400 to about 1850 in North America), during which Glacier National Park glaciers formed and expanded


And now it is warmer again.

I know the debate is that the Holocene Optimum was Hemispheric rather than global but I can show countless scientific studies that show it was global and I will if you wish. However show me the studies that show that the Southern Hemisphere was so much cooler than the Northern as to make the Global temperatures cooler than today. If the Northern Hemisphere was so much warmer during this period as to be without glaciers in Glacier National Park, as just one example, the Southern Hemisphere must have been in a virtual ice age to compensate, but that did not happen.

But here is why it is so important. Also going back to your post when you say "...since any atmospheric CO2 will experience feedback mechanisms. You simply cannot remove the feedback mechanisms from the atmosphere. "

But the feedback mechanism is not the result of the CO2 itself but rather the increased temperature caused by the increased CO2. Therefore the feedback should occur irrespective of the cause of that increased temperature. Or since the maximum of CO2 warming without feedback is 1.2 degC anytime global temps exceed that "tipping point" we should experience feedback.

To put some science to this we need only go to the IPCC itself for explanation. From a previous post by me:


This is not in dispute, from IPCC Fourth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2007 (AR4)


If the amount of carbon dioxide were doubled instantaneously, with everything else remaining the same, the outgoing infrared radiation would be reduced by about 4 Wm-2. In other words, the radiative forcing corresponding to a doubling of the CO2 concentration would be 4 Wm-2. To counteract this imbalance, the temperature of the surface-troposphere system would have to increase by 1.2°C (with an accuracy of ±10%), in the absence of other changes


So as you can see a doubling of CO2 would only account for a 1.2 C of warming-period. This is not in dispute. So why do you hear all these claims that increased CO2 is going to warm the Earth by anywhere from 2-6 degC? The IPCC explains:

In reality, due to feedback, the response of the climate system is much more complex. It is believed that the overall effect of the feedback amplifies the temperature increase to 1.5 to 4.5°C. A significant part of this uncertainty range arises from our limited knowledge of clouds and their interactions with radiation.


So in order to keep the ball rolling they postulate feedback, in this case positive feedback which amplifies the heating caused by the initial heating of increased CO2. Note the caution they put on this based on clouds, perhaps a future topic, but what is it what amplifies that 1.2 degrees into dangerous temperatures which will destroy life as we know it? From the IPCC:

The so-called water vapour feedback, caused by an increase in atmospheric water vapour due to a temperature increase, is the most important feedback responsible for the amplification of the temperature increase.


To summarize, a doubling of CO2 will cause the temperature to increase by 1.2 degC, this increased temperature will then cause more evaporation of water vapor (the primary greenhouse gas) into the atmosphere which will amplify the effect of the CO2 caused warming, got it? This is known as the "enhanced greenhouse effect".


The "enhanced greenhouse effect" is the theory of Catastrophic Global Warming or Climate Change if you will. Without that CO2 in the atmosphere raises the temperature of the globe by a very beneficial amount.

If you have not caught on yet the significance of all this and why everything from "the Hockey Stick" to "regionalizing" the MWP and all the other warming periods in history is that if it ever was warmer than 1.2 degC for an extended period in history then what happened to the feed backs? Where is the "enhanced greenhouse effect"?

If 600 years ago their were no glaciers in Glacier National Park or far less than there are today and the world was warmer than it is today then we should have already experienced a "enhanced greenhouse effect".

That is why the "warmist" are headed for a downfall. The more we study the past to try to prove the theory the more proof there is against it unless they are willing to manipulate the proof, which they have shown themselves more than willing to do. But even that can go on only so long even if they keep up the charade, what happens when and if they say that we have reached the "tipping point" and nothing tips?

This is why they continuously come up with excuses for why their "model projections" are off not only because the models are based on a false premise but they must delay the day "in the future" always in the future when we will reach the tipping point.

I hope you followed all of this, if not please ask questions or ignore it at your will.
Member Since: August 26, 2005 Posts: 1030 Comments: 11197
33. theshepherd
9:05 PM GMT on February 21, 2012
BTW:

I hope the Mardi Gras does well this year.

Maybe they can start paying back some of the billions we contributed to providing a home for all the bums, divas, drunks, prostitutes, thieves and the ever-present welfare recipients that plague that pathetic mud hole.

And they'll be the first to tell you, "We live there because we can, Skippy".



Member Since: September 11, 2008 Posts: 10 Comments: 10229
32. theshepherd
8:48 PM GMT on February 21, 2012
Wow!!!

Just mention "intellectuals" in the header...and here they come.

I can think of a few we are missing here...but the night is young.

I think we need a new professional designation ...Googleologist

This is for those who have to google their responses, of course.





Member Since: September 11, 2008 Posts: 10 Comments: 10229
31. Some1Has2BtheRookie
8:08 PM GMT on February 21, 2012
Quoting Xvrus2000:
Jer ~

You cease to amaze me to allow you blog to continue to carry on like this. You do realize that if you simply ban this user Rookie and Skyepony from your blog, you would not have to waste your time replying to these knuckleheads.

But no, instead conchygirl and other users who have half a brain to think for themselves are barred from posting here. Oh Jer...are you becoming soft. This is NOT the time to allow this BS to occur.

Ban these users today, Son. It is for your own good and the integrity of the blog.


I would imagine that sebastianjer is not opposed to intelligent and cordial conversations. This IS his blog and he certainly may ban anyone he wishes to ban. I am not immune from his bans.
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 4948
30. Some1Has2BtheRookie
8:03 PM GMT on February 21, 2012
Quoting latitude25:
yeah yeah yeah, we're all going to die...
world ends at 10, film at 11

....42

back in reality, Gleick resigned from the National Centre For Science Education this morning

Guess this means the street party has been called off


As I said earlier, his scientific career is over. Resignation was his only option.
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 4948
28. Some1Has2BtheRookie
8:01 PM GMT on February 21, 2012
Quoting latitude25:
Peter Gleick is not only a global warming insider, he is also one of the most famous...
For him to take this chance and pull a stunt like this speaks volumes.....he has the most to lose

As less and less people believe in global warming...
...you will be left with the lowest common denominator


If no one at all "believed" in GW, it would not change the outcome by any factor at all. The climate does not poll us for our opinions.
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 4948
27. Some1Has2BtheRookie
7:58 PM GMT on February 21, 2012
Quoting sebastianjer:
BTW Rookie

I suspect that you are going to Google or other sources to answer these questions. That is fine but if you do not know and want me to answer them for you and give you sources I will, I am not trying to play gotcha, just trying to show you a side of the debate you may not have considered


I appreciate that, sebastianjer. I am not a scientist nor am I am walking Encyclopedia. I do you use Google or other research tools to give technical answers to questions that I do not know.

Should you wish to engage in the hypothetical or philosophical aspects of a subject, then I am quite prepared to answer based on my knowledge.

I am not against learning all sides of the conversations. How better to detect the truth than by knowing all sides?
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 4948
26. Some1Has2BtheRookie
7:45 PM GMT on February 21, 2012
Quoting sebastianjer:


If you will just stay with me here, perhaps we can learn something. Let me ask you some questions then though I doubt you will accept or understand some of the implications. First question is

How old are the glaciers in Glacier National Park?

Second Question

What is the amount of warming for a doubling of CO2 in the atmosphere without feedback?


I am not certain of the relevance of your questions, but I will try to "stay with" you on this.

Unless you are suggesting that the glaciers in, Glacier National Park, have a history of being short lived (200-300 years) then what is the relevance of this question? They are certainly disappearing now. There are images and notations that there were approximately 150 active ( I would take "active" as to mean stable or growing ) during the mid 1900s in Glacier National Park. As of 2010, there were only 25 active glaciers in, Glacier National Park. Without any further influencing, there are expected to be 0 active glaciers by the year 2020, in Glacier National Park. This is not to say there will be no glaciers left in 2020, in Glacier National Park, but that they will all be in a state of decline by then. This is a "featured" article in Wikipedia concerning this: Link Wikipedia's "featured articles" have been thoroughly reviewed for the accuracy of the article. What happens to the glaciers by 2020, yet remains to be seen.

"What is the amount of warming for a doubling of CO2 in the atmosphere without feedback?" - This question is without any merit or relevance at all since any atmospheric CO2 will experience feedback mechanisms. You simply cannot remove the feedback mechanisms from the atmosphere. What is the point of this question?

I will be back later this evening.
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 4948
25. latitude25
7:08 PM GMT on February 21, 2012
Peter Gleick is not only a global warming insider, he is also one of the most famous...
For him to take this chance and pull a stunt like this speaks volumes.....he has the most to lose

As less and less people believe in global warming...
...you will be left with the lowest common denominator
Member Since: August 24, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3654
24. sebastianjer
6:56 PM GMT on February 21, 2012
Hi Gamma

Yes they are and getting more interesting all the time lol

Have a good day
Jer
Member Since: August 26, 2005 Posts: 1030 Comments: 11197
23. seflagamma
6:50 PM GMT on February 21, 2012
Hi Jer and friends,

Jer your articles were very interesting reads this morning and I have enjoyed the GW back and forth..

Interesting world we live in these days.



Member Since: August 29, 2005 Posts: 306 Comments: 41058
22. sebastianjer
6:44 PM GMT on February 21, 2012
BTW Rookie

I suspect that you are going to Google or other sources to answer these questions. That is fine but if you do not know and want me to answer them for you and give you sources I will, I am not trying to play gotcha, just trying to show you a side of the debate you may not have considered
Member Since: August 26, 2005 Posts: 1030 Comments: 11197
21. sebastianjer
6:37 PM GMT on February 21, 2012
Quoting Some1Has2BtheRookie:


Yes, there have been brief periods, during the Holocene period, that have been warmer than today. These warmer periods also had there forcings to create the change. These previous warmer periods were caused by an increase in solar activity or by a shift in the Earth's orbital pattern around the Sun. When these forcings dissipated, the climate would return to what we know as "normal", for our geological period. The climate is warming again and this time it is with the absence of any influential forcings from the Sun or our orbit. There is another forcing at play this time and it is happening by far faster than these previous warming periods and strongly trending upward.


If you will just stay with me here, perhaps we can learn something. Let me ask you some questions then though I doubt you will accept or understand some of the implications. First question is

How old are the glaciers in Glacier National Park?

Second Question

What is the amount of warming for a doubling of CO2 in the atmosphere without feedback?
Member Since: August 26, 2005 Posts: 1030 Comments: 11197
20. latitude25
6:26 PM GMT on February 21, 2012
yeah yeah yeah, we're all going to die...
world ends at 10, film at 11

....42

back in reality, Gleick resigned from the National Centre For Science Education this morning

Guess this means the street party has been called off
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19. Some1Has2BtheRookie
6:21 PM GMT on February 21, 2012
Quoting sebastianjer:


Do you accept that global temperatures have been warmer during the Holocene Epoch than current or no?


Yes, there have been brief periods, during the Holocene period, that have been warmer than today. These warmer periods also had there forcings to create the change. These previous warmer periods were caused by an increase in solar activity or by a shift in the Earth's orbital pattern around the Sun. When these forcings dissipated, the climate would return to what we know as "normal", for our geological period. The climate is warming again and this time it is with the absence of any influential forcings from the Sun or our orbit. There is another forcing at play this time and it is happening by far faster than these previous warming periods and strongly trending upward.
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18. sebastianjer
5:44 PM GMT on February 21, 2012
Quoting Some1Has2BtheRookie:


We are currently in the Holocene period. This period started 10,000 to 12,000 years ago and continues to the present day. Any time period before this would have had no impact on modern humans and how we exist with the climate now.


Do you accept that global temperatures have been warmer during the Holocene Epoch than current or no?
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17. Some1Has2BtheRookie
5:17 PM GMT on February 21, 2012
Quoting sebastianjer:


What do you define as "our geological time"


We are currently in the Holocene period. This period started 10,000 to 12,000 years ago and continues to the present day. Any time period before this would have had no impact on modern humans and how we exist with the climate now.
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16. sebastianjer
5:04 PM GMT on February 21, 2012
Quoting Some1Has2BtheRookie:


"Now", as in our geological time.

Since you are busy, we can take this up later, if you wish to do so.


What do you define as "our geological time"
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15. Some1Has2BtheRookie
5:03 PM GMT on February 21, 2012
Quoting latitude25:
You mean "now" like right now?

No one seems to know...sea levels are falling, temps are falling, etc so it doesn't seem to be following the prescribed formula

Personally, I don't think we're smart enough or know near enough to be making any predictions at all...

..and that's a strawman, I said more proof, didn't say a word about no one saying it was never warmer

no time for games today..got to much on my plate


"Now", as in our geological time.

Since you are busy, we can take this up later, if you wish to do so.
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14. latitude25
4:59 PM GMT on February 21, 2012
You mean "now" like right now?

No one seems to know...sea levels are falling, temps are falling, etc so it doesn't seem to be following the prescribed formula

Personally, I don't think we're smart enough or know near enough to be making any predictions at all...

..and that's a strawman, I said more proof, didn't say a word about no one saying it was never warmer

no time for games today..got to much on my plate
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13. Some1Has2BtheRookie
4:51 PM GMT on February 21, 2012
Quoting latitude25:
You're missing the part about anonymous donors to HI...
..they donated under the condition that they remain anonymous

This is interesting...
Found 30,000 year old seeds...and sprouted them
What's missing in the article...is that it's more proof that it was warmer in the past

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-171 00574


I do not know of anyone that says it was never warmer in the past. There is ample geological evidence that it was. The question remains as to which species alive today are able to capitalize on a warmer climate now and which species cannot and will suffer for it. Climate does not change without a forcing. .. A question for the intellectuals. What is the forcing behind the climate change we are experiencing now?
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12. latitude25
4:37 PM GMT on February 21, 2012
You're missing the part about anonymous donors to HI...
..they donated under the condition that they remain anonymous

This is interesting...
Found 30,000 year old seeds...and sprouted them
What's missing in the article...is that it's more proof that it was warmer in the past

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-171 00574
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11. Some1Has2BtheRookie
4:30 PM GMT on February 21, 2012
Quoting latitude25:
The Heartland Institute will be the least of his problems....
..He involved/slandered/exposed too many other people..

..and each one of them will also have their day in court


The slander part will definitely need to be proven in court. We will see how it all plays out. He will definitely be discredited with the scientific community. You can be assured of this. His scientific career has come to end, unless some private entity wishes to pick him up.
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10. latitude25
4:22 PM GMT on February 21, 2012
The Heartland Institute will be the least of his problems....
..He involved/slandered/exposed too many other people..

..and each one of them will also have their day in court
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9. Some1Has2BtheRookie
4:02 PM GMT on February 21, 2012
Quoting latitude25:
LOL....all but the one he made up
...the one that was not sent through email like the rest of them

You do realize, if Gleick had been better at it....
...there would be no confession

Creating an email account under someone else's name with the intention to defraud...
...is a crime in California

Gleick acted like some little child...then when he was about to get caught...he confessed

This will all play out in court now.........


True. This is what we need to wait on. I am curious as to how far The Heartland Institute will really push this with the courts. They may be forced to disclose even more information than they would desire to do so. We are in the "wait and see" mode, for now.

I think ALL crime should be punished. I do not favor one criminal over the other nor do I favor one crime or any other. Do the crime, do the time.
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8. Some1Has2BtheRookie
3:57 PM GMT on February 21, 2012
Quoting NumberWise:
I Googled Peter Gleick and immediately found not only several articles, but also his own Huffington Post blog.

Would Peter Gleick be considered an intellectual?


Thank you, NumberWise. Yes, I had already performed a Google search and discovered the same things that you did.

Is Peter Gleick considered an intellectual? I suppose that he would be. He certainly has spent enough classroom hours and made academic achievements that would qualify him as one. Intellectuals are also human and are subject to the same judgmental errors that all humans are prone to. Does this excuse his poor judgement? Certainly not. If anything, he should have been able to reason beyond such poor judgement. ... Why the attacks on intellectuals? Newt Gingrich is also considered an intellectual along with Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Carl Sagan, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and the list goes on.
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7. latitude25
3:53 PM GMT on February 21, 2012
LOL....all but the one he made up
...the one that was not sent through email like the rest of them

You do realize, if Gleick had been better at it....
...there would be no confession

Creating an email account under someone else's name with the intention to defraud...
...is a crime in California

Gleick acted like some little child...then when he was about to get caught...he confessed

This will all play out in court now.........
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6. Some1Has2BtheRookie
3:42 PM GMT on February 21, 2012
Never mind, latitude25. I found a citation of what you posted. This is from Peter Gleick's blog on "The Huffington Post":

"Since the release in mid-February of a series of documents related to the internal strategy of the Heartland Institute to cast doubt on climate science, there has been extensive speculation about the origin of the documents and intense discussion about what they reveal. Given the need for reliance on facts in the public climate debate, I am issuing the following statement:

At the beginning of 2012, I received an anonymous document in the mail describing what appeared to be details of the Heartland Institute's climate program strategy. It contained information about their funders and the Institute's apparent efforts to muddy public understanding about climate science and policy. I do not know the source of that original document but assumed it was sent to me because of my past exchanges with Heartland and because I was named in it.

Given the potential impact, however, I attempted to confirm the accuracy of the information in this document. In an effort to do so, and in a serious lapse of my own professional judgment and ethics, I solicited and received additional materials directly from the Heartland Institute under someone else's name. The materials the Heartland Institute sent to me confirmed many of the facts in the original document, including especially their 2012 fundraising strategy and budget. I forwarded, anonymously, the documents I had received to a set of journalists and experts working on climate issues. I can explicitly confirm, as can the Heartland Institute, that the documents they emailed to me are identical to the documents that have been made public. I made no changes or alterations of any kind to any of the Heartland Institute documents or to the original anonymous communication.

I will not comment on the substance or implications of the materials; others have and are doing so. I only note that the scientific understanding of the reality and risks of climate change is strong, compelling, and increasingly disturbing, and a rational public debate is desperately needed. My judgment was blinded by my frustration with the ongoing efforts -- often anonymous, well-funded, and coordinated -- to attack climate science and scientists and prevent this debate, and by the lack of transparency of the organizations involved. Nevertheless I deeply regret my own actions in this case. I offer my personal apologies to all those affected.

Peter Gleick"


Link

You do realize that this only helps to confirm that the documents are authentic?
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5. NumberWise
3:37 PM GMT on February 21, 2012
I Googled Peter Gleick and immediately found not only several articles, but also his own Huffington Post blog.

Would Peter Gleick be considered an intellectual?
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4. Some1Has2BtheRookie
3:30 PM GMT on February 21, 2012
Quoting latitude25:
FEBRUARY 20, 2012: Earlier this evening, Peter Gleick, a prominent figure in the global warming movement, confessed to stealing electronic documents from The Heartland Institute in an attempt to discredit and embarrass a group that disagrees with his views.

Gleick’s crime was a serious one. The documents he admits stealing contained personal information about Heartland staff members, donors, and allies, the release of which has violated their privacy and endangered their personal safety.

An additional document Gleick represented as coming from The Heartland Institute, a forged memo purporting to set out our strategies on global warming, has been extensively cited by newspapers and in news releases and articles posted on Web sites and blogs around the world. It has caused major and permanent damage to the reputations of The Heartland Institute and many of the scientists, policy experts, and organizations we work with.

A mere apology is not enough to undo the damage.

In his statement, Gleick claims he committed this crime because he believed The Heartland Institute was preventing a “rational debate” from taking place over global warming. This is unbelievable. Heartland has repeatedly asked for real debate on this important topic. Gleick himself was specifically invited to attend a Heartland event to debate global warming just days before he stole the documents. He turned down the invitation.

Gleick also claims he did not write the forged memo, but only stole the documents to confirm the content of the memo he received from an anonymous source. This too is unbelievable. Many independent commentators already have concluded the memo was most likely written by Gleick.

We hope Gleick will make a more complete confession in the next few days.

We are consulting with legal counsel to determine our next steps and plan to release a more complete statement about the situation tomorrow. In the meantime, we ask again that publishers, bloggers, and Web site hosts take the stolen and fraudulent documents off their sites, remove defamatory commentary based on them, and issue retractions.




Citation needed, please. I would like to read more on this.
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3. latitude25
3:18 PM GMT on February 21, 2012
FEBRUARY 20, 2012: Earlier this evening, Peter Gleick, a prominent figure in the global warming movement, confessed to stealing electronic documents from The Heartland Institute in an attempt to discredit and embarrass a group that disagrees with his views.

Gleick’s crime was a serious one. The documents he admits stealing contained personal information about Heartland staff members, donors, and allies, the release of which has violated their privacy and endangered their personal safety.

An additional document Gleick represented as coming from The Heartland Institute, a forged memo purporting to set out our strategies on global warming, has been extensively cited by newspapers and in news releases and articles posted on Web sites and blogs around the world. It has caused major and permanent damage to the reputations of The Heartland Institute and many of the scientists, policy experts, and organizations we work with.

A mere apology is not enough to undo the damage.

In his statement, Gleick claims he committed this crime because he believed The Heartland Institute was preventing a “rational debate” from taking place over global warming. This is unbelievable. Heartland has repeatedly asked for real debate on this important topic. Gleick himself was specifically invited to attend a Heartland event to debate global warming just days before he stole the documents. He turned down the invitation.

Gleick also claims he did not write the forged memo, but only stole the documents to confirm the content of the memo he received from an anonymous source. This too is unbelievable. Many independent commentators already have concluded the memo was most likely written by Gleick.

We hope Gleick will make a more complete confession in the next few days.

We are consulting with legal counsel to determine our next steps and plan to release a more complete statement about the situation tomorrow. In the meantime, we ask again that publishers, bloggers, and Web site hosts take the stolen and fraudulent documents off their sites, remove defamatory commentary based on them, and issue retractions.
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2. Jonas
1:07 PM GMT on February 21, 2012
So, what's your point?


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1. sebastianjer
12:38 PM GMT on February 21, 2012
Now from an intellectual I agree with a lot of the time :)



Beyond Blue 5: Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

Walter Russell Mead

America’s economic structure, the labor market and the American workplace have changed greatly in the last twenty years and will likely change even more in the twenty years to come. Some of these changes are unpredictable; others look baked into the cake. But as the blue social model continues to fade, the question of jobs will rise even higher on the national agenda. The American economy will not only need to create new jobs, it will need to create new kinds of jobs and new relationships between workers and employers as we work to build the next version of the American dream.

This is going to mean new kinds of policy at every level of government. In the 19th century, government promoted the rise of the family farm, selling cheaply and ultimately giving away millions of acres of farmland, and promoting the rise of railroads (which could carry the produce of western farms to world markets). In the 20th century the government promoted the rise of large, stable corporate employers that offered armies of white and blue collar employees lifetime employment and a bevy of benefits.



Those 20th century policies won’t produce the same results in the new era. In many ways, the old jobs policies will now get in the way. The new economy needs a different framework to encourage new kinds of jobs and new industries; the faster we get to these the faster we will emerge from the death throes of the blue model into a new and much brighter world.

Some mourn the passing of the old ways; some are glad. It doesn’t, fundamentally, matter. The real political division in American today is between those who think the old days can come back if the government does the right things (tax rich people; pump enough money into state and local government, health care and the higher ed industry; raise tariffs high enough and sprinkle enough subsidies on enough industries to protect and rebuild the manufacturing sector) and those like Via Meadia who think that Humpty Dumpty can’t be put together again, no matter how many of the king’s horses and king’s men set up federal egg patching programs.

Those who think the magic can return are free to organize into political movements and rage against the dying of the light; it’s a free country and VM thinks everyone should do their best to advance their ideas and policy options in the political world. But this fight will at most slow down the pace of change; the real contest in America is going to be about what to do next. Energy over time is likely to flow from nostalgia for the old toward the construction of the new.

Wanted or not, changes will continue. Manufacturing may well come back to the United States to some degree, but it will be capital intensive, automated manufacturing. Armies of blue collar assembly line workers won’t be making middle class livelihoods from unskilled factory work.

Lifetime employment will continue to go the way of the dodo. So will many of the aspects of the employment relationship that went with that. Defined benefit pension programs are already pretty much toast; so too is the implied social contract that the employer, like a feudal lord, would provide lifetime protection and security so long as the employee, like a good and faithful serf, provided labor and loyalty.

Those who still have something close to lifetime employment – tenured professors and teachers, civil servants and other government employees, postal service workers – feel the unwelcome winds of change. Many who now have these benefits will likely lose them; such jobs will be much more rare and much harder to come by for new generations of workers.



As employment continues to shift away from manufacturing and routine information processing and administrative activities, the job market is likely to change in some unexpected and, to many, disturbing ways. Many white collar professions and, to use Robert Reich’s phrase, the “symbolic analyst” jobs are going to experience some of the same pressures that manufacturing employment experienced in the last generation. Automation and outsourcing will combine to limit employment opportunities and income levels for most accountants, lawyers, architects and even some types of medical specialists. (X rays and CAT scans can be read as easily in India as at the local specialist’s office, and given the exponential improvements in software, many other medical processes will become susceptible to outsourcing and automation.) There is no sacred dictate from on high mandating that design work and research need to be conducted in North America by people of European descent.

Many people who project the present into the future and believe that trees grow to the sky predict a future in which the upper middle class levitates into the economic stratosphere while the rest of America sinks into a post industrial quagmire as lawn boys and parlor maids. To do that is to miss this essential dynamic: the upper middle class also faces some destabilizing change. The serried, suited ranks of middle management and midlevel professionals face the scythe just as the steelworkers and the autoworkers once did.

In many and perhaps most economic sectors, the links between employers and employees are likely to weaken. It is not only that fewer people will work for many decades in the same big box processing plants – whether a factory making hard goods like automobiles or a facility making information products like an insurance company or a bank. As communication software improves, as telecom costs continue to drop, as management practices catch up with technological capability, many more people will work from home, or in small satellite facilities. Increasingly, they will work for more than one company at a time, bidding on assignments, perhaps, on a contract basis rather than as long-term employees.

In this sense the workplace will become less feudal and more transactional. People will date around with employers, rather than settling into long-term exclusive relationships. Entrepreneurs, free agents and freelancers will be much more common than they are now; lifers more rare.

In the old system workers were represented by labor unions – almost one third of the workforce at the peak, higher if one considers only blue-collar workers. The labor union is predicated on long-term employment; if all the workers are going to be working in the same Ford plant until retirement, it makes sense for them to band together and fight for higher wages.

But in the labor market of the future, workers are less likely to need bargaining agents who improve their working conditions and pay through a rule-making process at their long-term employer. They are more likely to need a kind of career agent who helps them negotiate work contracts for short term gigs and develop a long term plan to keep their skills sharp and move with a changing economy into new fields. Fewer of us will build careers by lifetime service to a single firm; more of us will seek improved pay and more agreeable work by switching companies and even fields. Fewer of us will be represented by the successors of Jimmy Hoffa; more of us will have a personal Michael Ovitz on call.

I’ll write some more about agents as one of the careers of the future in a later post. These agents are likely to combine some of the functions of a lawyer, a mentor and a financial planner; they may work on commission or for an annual fee. They will compete with each other to attract clients who have or who can acquire skills that are in demand; they will provide many Americans with the kind of life, career and education advice that will help them navigate the choppy seas of a changing economy. People are likely to use agents not only to help with employment, but with health care management, education, taxes, financial planning and so on. In the future, everyone will have a staff.

But the weakening of the ties between employer and employee is another way to speak of the “entrepreneurialization” of the American labor market. In the 19th century, most Americans were entrepreneurs: operators of family farms. In the 20th century, most were employees, often of very large companies. In the 21st century we are likely going to become more entrepreneurial again, only instead of selling the produce of our farms, we are going to be selling the services we produce based on our skills and our imaginations.

The new economy is likely to involve more agents and small entrepreneurs; the falling cost of information dramatically lowers the capital cost of new business start ups. For the price of a personal computer and an internet link, an entrepreneur now has access to information and clients locally and worldwide that giant corporations couldn’t assemble in the 1960s. But the bewildering variety of information available on the web, and the vast number of options consumers have creates needs for reliable, trustworthy filters. Most people can’t deal with the masses of data on the web; they need retailers who can package that information into something they can use.

Many white collar professionals will turn into information retailers providing sophisticated and personalized services for households. Just as the industrialization of manufacturing meant that ordinary people now had access to an abundance of material goods once out of reach of all but the richest, so the industrial revolution in information will place sophisticated services in the hands of the mass market.

More, the proliferation of small information-based business will create markets for B2B information service: consultants who help small entrepreneurs manage technology, cash flow, marketing and other functions.

Currently, the American legal and regulatory system is set up to bind as many people to employers as possible. The government wants you to be a wage slave and sets up a regulatory framework that keeps as many of us as possible yoked to bosses and management. The IRS doesn’t like the self-employed, fearing they many conceal income. Banks and credit card companies view such people with suspicion, and it is notoriously difficult for start ups and part time enterprises to have access to formal finance. Many services are hard for the self-employed to get on terms like those made available to employees of large corporations: from health insurance to retirement planning, many things are harder and more expensive for the self-employed. The payroll tax system is brutal: the self-employed pay both the employer and employee halves of Social Security and Medicare taxes, almost 20 percent of income and likely to go higher. Many cities will tack on unincorporated business taxes, mass transit taxes, and other interesting feudal exactions and dues.

There are other, subtler ways in which the current system favors old style large employers over small firms. The cost of hiring people can be prohibitively high for small businesses: the paperwork involved in hiring so much as a cleaning person or babysitter can be cumbersome. Hiring full time workers involves negotiating the requirements for worker compensation, unemployment insurance and much else. The cost of these barriers cannot be calculated: jobs foregone, businesses stifled in their cradles, ideas untested, innovations untried.

In order to create the kind of job and service explosion that can provide better incomes for more Americans going forward, the government needs to shift policy. It must favor the small firm and entrepreneur: the owner-proprietor group needs to become the apple of the government’s eye. Their taxes should be cut; their paperwork burdens drastically reduced; regulations should be rewritten and simplified to meet their needs.

Cutting paperwork is much cheaper for the government than cutting taxes, by the way, and its effect on small business is likely to be much more profound. Small, lightly capitalized business enterprises are usually led by people who don’t have much time or know how when it comes to bureaucratic requirements. Even very basic payroll issues – filing and paying estimated taxes, managing benefits such as unemployment and disability insurance and so forth – stretch their capacity.



A system that allowed small business to simply hire people with a handshake and pay them with a check, notifying the government once a year of amounts paid and to whom (and with the ability to deduct all reported wages from gross receipts for tax purposes) would likely increase the rate of business formation and hiring and if anything would result in a net increase of revenue for the government as more jobs were created and as fewer start ups and small enterprises would chose to operate under the table.

Taxes and insurance would be the responsibility of employees, and compliance could be enforced through the employer-filed reports of wages paid. Employers would have a strong incentive to comply with the reporting requirement because it will be simple (name, amount, social security number) and because full reporting would result in substantial reductions to their own tax bills. To ensure that workers aren’t abused by this approach, a designated percentage of base wages would be earmarked for social insurance programs; in general it is less the dollar cost of some of these programs than the reporting and paperwork headache that is a problem for small business. Banks could be encouraged to set up payroll deposit programs that made regular estimated tax and other payments to government agencies, perhaps by working with existing payroll companies.

There are many other impediments to the operation of small business, especially in urban poverty zones where, perversely, regulations are often tightest where the poorest people live. Cities like San Francisco, New York, Chicago and even Detroit often burden small business with contradictory, expensive, poorly administered and bewilderingly complex reporting and permitting requirements – to say nothing of taxes. Many businesses are simply throttled before birth; others operate informally and in the shadows. This provides an underground labor market for undocumented workers, means that many workers are not getting social insurance coverage, and deprives many businesses of any access to the formal credit sector, limiting the chance for expansion and job growth.

These wrongheaded and self defeating policies were expensive in the era of the blue social model, which has seen an economic collapse in American cities without precedent in our history; they will be ruinous in coming years as the economy continues to shift.

Blue partisans tend to prefer “industrial policy” and “targeted investments” in infrastructure and elsewhere to generalized reductions in taxes and regulations as a way to promote economic growth and accelerate America’s path into the future. I am not a purist and do not object to these measures always and in principle. I do not, for example, think President Eisenhower made a ghastly mistake when he inaugurated the interstate highway system.



But at this particular moment in history, the case for such policies is much weaker than at other times. This is partly because massive public investments generally go to large firms at a time when it is small business that we need to promote. It is partly because planned infrastructure investments work best when progress looks linear. In the 1950s it was relatively easy to project the immediate growth path the American economy was going to take. Today we are doing something much more complex and multifaceted, and it is not clear just how the bets should be laid. Moreover, the desperate hunger of large organizations and interests for government funds leads to intense pressure for white elephant projects like the California high speed rail project. (Repair of existing infrastructure is a different question and to the degree we clean up the long term fiscal picture and get public works costs under control, there is much to be said for infrastructure repair and renewal in times of high unemployment and low interest rates.)

It is also true that when political types think about “smart investments” they often let their wishes master their thoughts. Clean energy would be very desirable and there is a political constituency for it; politicians will invest in it despite decades of failure (in, for example, solar energy). The “smart investments” are almost always “feel good” investments and i
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