Monday, August 29, 2016

Our dystrustful future

The always perspicacious, always accessible Z-Man:
In order to have a modern economy, you have to have a certain degree of trust between strangers so that people will plan for the future, take risks and so forth. You cannot have a modern economy in a low-trust society.
The percentages of respondents, by decade, who say that "most people can be trusted" as opposed to "you can never be too careful" (n = 37,407):

In the words of a great dissident, we are doomed.

GSS variables used: YEAR(1970-1979)(1980-1989)(1990-1999)(2000-2010)(2010-2014), TRUST(1-2)

Top and bottom vs middle; 2016 election version

Adapted from a recent Pew report:

Twice as much of Hillary's support compared to Trump's support comes from those earning over $150k per year. But twice as much of Hillary's support compared to Trump's support also comes from those earning less than $30k per year.

While only half of Hillary's support comes from the middle class (broadly defined), more than two-thirds of Trump's support does.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Alt-Right: Thanks Hillary!

Google search volumes over the last year:

The Alt-Right hadn't even been seriously addressed by major media prior to Hillary's speech spotlighting it. All those people who've launched the term into the stratosphere will, if they move beyond the headlines of the last couple of days will find members of the Alt-Right where they are. The perspectives they'll get will be Richard Spencer's, John Derbyshire's, Steve Sailer's, and Vox Day's, not BuzzFeed's sophomoric misrepresentation of their perspectives.

Team Hillary is dumping gasoline on the Alt-Right fire.

In the short run, it probably makes sense tactically. Fear is a major--probably the primary--electoral motivator. It's why Trump is wise to focus on the security angle of Muslim immigration into the West rather than the social, cultural and biological incompatibilities even though these are all far more consequential. It's also why Hillary has stopped talking about her qualifications and started talking non-stop about how a president Trump will blow up the world.

But the amount of time remaining before the Alt-Right replaces the Respectable Right just got a lot shorter. We are where the energy is, the innovation is, the fight is. Our momentum will continue to grow in response to this wailing and gnashing of teeth from the top of the political pyramid.

We're also where the youthful dissidence is. To support Hillary is to fellate the System. To wear a red hat is to give that System the middle finger.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Liberal atheists are statists

Stefan Molyneux and Scott Adams tee it up:

The GSS regularly asks respondents if they think the government "ought to reduce the income differences between rich and poor" or if it "should not concern itself with reducing income differences". We can quibble about varying definitions of statism but opinions on governmental income redistribution serve as a pretty good approximation of what we're after.

The following table shows responses to the redistribution question by belief in God. For contemporary relevance and to avoid racial confounding responses are from 2004 onward and only non-Hispanic whites are considered (n = 5,650, one standard deviation = 2.02). Scores are inverted from those assigned by the survey for ease of comprehension. That is, the higher the score, the more statist the position:

On GodStatism
Uncertain believers4.19
Firm believers3.98

Atheists are indeed the most statist. Firm believers are the least so.

This can, as Molyneux subsequently alludes to in the video, be attributed in part to political orientation. Atheists tend to be leftists. The secular right is numerically lilliputian.

That's not the entire story, however. While there is little discernible difference among conservative atheists and theists when it comes to statism, atheistic leftists are more statist than theistic leftists are. The same parameters as above but restricted only to political liberals (n = 822):

On GodStatism
Uncertain believers5.09
Firm believers5.23

It's unsurprising that atheists are often accused of worshiping the state in place of God. Hillary's campaign team was clearly aware of as much. It's why they wanted to surreptitiously push Bernie Sanders' putative atheism.

GSS variables used: YEAR(2004-2014), EQWLTH(1-7), GOD(1)(2)(3-5)(6), RACECEN1(1), POLVIEWS(1-2)(5-6)

Friday, August 19, 2016

And then there are left liberals

How self-identified political liberals voted in the 2012 presidential election, by race:

Sample sizes are 327, 84, and 50, respectively.

Surprised that not a single black liberal voted for Romney? Don't be, there's plenty of precedence. Exit polling from New York state had a black sample larger than this in 2008 and they didn't find a single black--liberal, moderate, conservative, or otherwise--who voted for McCain.

GSS variables used: RACECEN1(1)(2), HISPANIC(2-98), POLVIEWS(1-3), PRES12(1-2)

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Conservative is a race relative term, too

Again, what isn't?

How self-identified political conservatives voted in the 2012 presidential election, by race:

Sample sizes are 469, 57, and 41, respectively.

"Blacks and Hispanics are natural conservatives, we just need to communicate our message to them more effectively," clucks the cuck. If increasing the ranks of NAM conservatives is the Paul Ryan-led GOPe strategy for electoral success, well, we can see how electorally unsuccessful that will be.

It's the Sailer Strategy or it's political--and civilizational--suicide. Ours is truly a time for choosing.

GSS variables used: RACECEN1(1)(2), HISPANIC(2-98), POLVIEWS(5-7), PRES12(1-2)

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Trump is a gift that keeps on giving

A little while back I began worrying that while poll fudging would create a headwind the Trump Train could do without, electoral fraud could be the equivalent of barreling through a tornado. As Heartiste remarked regarding the former:

The same goes for cooking the electoral books. There will be bipartisan, unified Establishment opposition to investigating allegations no matter how egregious, evident and widespread. The reason I started talking about it is because it's something Trump needs to get out in front of.

Milo has pithily pointed to Trump's role as the chaos candidate as the single biggest reason to support him. Trump has earned that descriptor time and time again. Most recently he did so by addressing the same topic we're addressing here:

How spot on the Alt Right was in getting behind Trump. Even if he doesn't win in November, sowing these seeds of discord and discontent among white middle America will continue to push the US in the direction of political dissolution.

It's the eleventh hour. Either we turn it around fast--which may or may not happen with a Trump presidency but obviously will not with the hag--or we get back to working on secession.

Regarding his tax returns, I suspect Trump's handling it masterfully. He learns from his mistakes.

Consider how Obama leveraged the birth certificate controversy--of which Trump played a not insignificant role--to his own advantage. Leaving aside questions about whether or not what was shown to the public is legitimate because the vast majority of the public assumes it is, Obama allowed questions surrounding its existence to build for months and months to the point that they drowned out a lot of the other criticisms coming his way. Then he released the picture and just like that effectively negated months' worth of criticism.

Obama feigned a retreat and then after letting his overeager opponents break rank to follow, he wheeled around on them and smashed them up. Trump, who instinctively understands mass psychology, can use his taxes in the same way by releasing them in September or October.

His tax bill is probably relatively small and I wouldn't be surprised if his effective tax rate, at least for some years, is in the single digits.

That won't be a problem. Avoiding taxes fits easily into Trump's narrative that he wins at everything he does. He simply says "When I'm your president I'll win for you just like I won for my company and my family. I understand what's wrong with the broken system because I beat that broken system. As president, I'll fix it. I'm the only one who can. Hillary certainly can't."

The only reason to withhold his tax returns is if net worth is substantially lower than advertised--as in Trump isn't actually a billionaire--but his disclosure statements strongly suggest that not to be the case.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Moderate is a race relative term

Then again, what isn't?

How self-identified political moderates voted in the 2012 presidential election, by race:

Sample sizes are 361, 129, and 17, respectively. Yes, the Hispanic sample is prohibitively small. I'm confident it allows us to generalize all the same.

GSS variables used: POLVIEWS(4), PRES12(1-2), RACECEN1(1)(2)(15-16)

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Trust in other people by generation, or how millennials don't trust anyone

The Z-Man on millennials:
The passive cynicism of the millennials may simply be a result of living in a world of fiction. If most of what you see and hear is bullshit, you’re going to assume everything is bullshit. It is also impossible to have trust in people that lie all the time, so this sea of mass media is self-defeating as a propaganda tool. The Russians during the Soviet era assumed everything told to them was a lie, which made an already cynical people into the first no-trust society.
I have twenty millennials who work under me and my perception is that truth isn't even held up as something they tell themselves they're striving for. In the context of the general election it's primarily about how Trump, Hillary, and Sanders make them feel and, secondarily, what direct benefits they represent (like free college).

A few like Trump because he's an alpha male who punches the powers that be right between the nose. A bunch like Sanders because he's caring and tolerant and concerned about those who can't help themselves. One likes Hillary but he--yes, (apparently) heterosexual he--can't explain why beyond "How everyone else feels about Bernie, that's how I feel about Hillary".

None of these kids--and as someone at the very tail end of Gen X by this accounting, I can call them kids--even pretends to care about the underlying veracity of the things the candidates say and do. Not only is there little apparent ratiocination, there's not even much rationalizing.

Regarding the assertion that it is impossible to have trust in people who lie all the time, the GSS has handily asked respondents whether or not they think most people can be trusted since the survey's inception back in the early seventies. The following graph shows, by generational cohort*, the percentages who say that most people can be trusted (n = 36,750):

One-in-five millennials say other people can generally be trusted. The virtual world these kids exist in fosters a solipsism that can mostly be kept secluded from reality in its starkest forms. They simultaneously have access to everybody on the planet and no one at all. Community comes and goes with a tap on a screen. It's 25,000 miles wide and an inch deep. Would you dive headlong into that?

GSS variables used: COHORT(1901-1924)(1925-1945)(1946-1964)(1965-1984)(1985-2000), TRUST(1-2)

* Birth years by generational cohort:

Greatest -- 1901-1924
Silent -- 1925-1945
Baby Boomer -- 1946-1964
X -- 1965-1984
Millennial -- 1985-2000

Monday, August 08, 2016

Get stitched, snitch

The alleged epidemic of police brutality against black bodies sweeping through the nation's urban cores aside, the tendency for blacks not to cooperate with the cops is nothing new.

In the 1984 iteration of the survey, the GSS asked respondents if they would feel obligated to report a crime they witnessed occurring.

The percentages, by race, who felt doing so to be "very important" (n = 1,442):

White -- 91.6%
Black -- 77.9%
Other -- 86.9%

One of the many reasons unsolved murders are disproportionately black murders.

GSS variables used: OB911, RACE

Friday, August 05, 2016

Young, red states are the most solvent; old, blue states the least so

The Mercatus Center at GMU recently released a report on the fiscal health of each of the states--or more precisely, the fiscal health of each state's government. The methodology looks sophisticated and reasonable. Since the report wasn't commissioned to be evaluated on the factors I'm evaluating it on, I'm comfortable using it as a plausible proxy measure for actual state government solvency.

On social science measures like these--IQ, health, standard-of-living, etc--that's unusual. The Dakotas do well on most things, but Mississippi and Alabama don't. Massachusetts tends to turn in a good performance, but California usually doesn't.

So what caught my attention immediately is how red states do noticeably better than blue states. Puerto Rico wasn't included in the analysis, but it would've fit the framework perfectly.

The correlation between fiscal health and Romney's share of the '12 vote is an impressive .42 (p = .002). The contrasts between demographically similar but politically dissimilar states like the Dakotas-v-Minnesota and Indiana-v-Illinois put in stark relief the tendency for red states to be in better fiscal shape than blue states.

Another strong (inverse) correlation exists between fiscal health and median age, .44 (p = .001). Old states are in more trouble than young states are. This isn't surprising because one of the largest liabilities states face comes in the form of state employee pensions. In older states more people are getting to the point where they're able to draw on them and many more already are drawing on them and have been doing so for years or even decades.

Average IQ and the percentage of the population that is non-Hispanic white don't correlate with fiscal health at the state level, inversely and positively at just .08 and .10, respectively. The percentage of the population that is black and foreign-born are only modestly more telling, correlating inversely at .21 and .23 (p = .15 and p = .12), respectively. So while it's not that pronounced, it is still the case that while diversity is strength... it's also fiscal insolvency.

The so-called 'resource curse'--which is mostly just a convenient explanation blank slatists superficially plug in when it works (Saudi Arabia) but ignore when it doesn't (Norway)--is nowhere to be found. Or rather it's there, but it takes the form of a resource boon. North Dakota and Alaska are energy producing machines and are also among the most fiscally sound states in the country.

Thursday, August 04, 2016

State states' rights

Marijuana legalization should be decided at the state level. This Trumpian position should be ported onto other Culture War issues, and it should be done so explicitly. It should also be done pithily. When asked "What do you think about X social policy?", Trump answers "People have different opinions on that. It's something the states should decide. I happen to (dis)like X, but it's something the states should decide."

A recent editorial in The Economist points out that this presidential election is about open vs closed rather than left versus right. That every one of the editorial contributors who favor openness want diversity in this context live as cloistered away from the consequences of that openness--private schools, gated Ice People communities, etc--is beside the point. Yes, that want the dirt people to take openness good and hard while they skim all the cream off the top up into the clouds. But here's the actionable part:
As for tactics, the question for pro-open types, who are found on both sides of the traditional left-right party divide, is how to win. The best approach will differ by country. In the Netherlands and Sweden, centrist parties have banded together to keep out nationalists. A similar alliance defeated the National Front’s Jean-Marie Le Pen in the run-off for France’s presidency in 2002, and may be needed again to beat his daughter in 2017. Britain may yet need a new party of the centre.

In America, where most is at stake, the answer must come from within the existing party structure. Republicans who are serious about resisting the anti-globalists should hold their noses and support Mrs Clinton. And Mrs Clinton herself, now that she has won the nomination, must champion openness clearly, rather than equivocating. Her choice of Tim Kaine, a Spanish-speaking globalist, as her running-mate is a good sign. But the polls are worryingly close. The future of the liberal world order depends on whether she succeeds.
And just as those "who are serious about resisting the anti-globalists should hold their noses and support" crooked Hillary, so should those who want America first vote for Trump irrespective of their beliefs on abortion, transgender restrooms, drug legalization, or any of the other masturbatory 'hot button' social issues.

If this polyglot empire is going to be held together, local customs will have to prevail at the local level. The Macedonians knew it, the Romans knew it, the Mongols knew it, and Trump seems to know it.

On the other hand, as I recall Jack Donovan hoping for, nothing could break apart the few remaining strained bonds precariously holding the US together as a putatively unified political entity faster than a Hillary Clinton presidency.