Saturday, January 29, 2011

A policy prescription for our ill's

It has been a recurring theme of this internet outpost that civilization has we know it is on the brink of destruction. And while I am relatively confident that it will not be a return to the Dark Ages akin to a Canticle for Leiobiwitz scenario where most of our knowledge will be lost, I am convinced that the current trendlines, the cultural and economic indicators, portend to a swift and painful fall.

The branches of knowledge that have informed me of this conclusion are from a gamut of sources that include economics, game theory, socionomics, and history.

So while it has been your humble narrator's dreadful hobby to chronicle the trendlines in the effort to construct a pessimist's manifesto of gloom and doom, the proprietor here at the Alpha Anomaly will have to wield some self-control and provide some constructive advice. Hence, the purpose of this post is to give 10 practical policy solutions that will put America back on track. Indeed, it has always been my contention that the damage has already been done, and no amount of policy making short of the hand of God will avert the destruction that awaits us. But the prescriptions below will lay a pathway for longterm improvement. Have you read Isaac Asimov's Foundation series? The solutions below are akin to the foundation that can only reduce the Galactic Empires decay to 1000 years instead of 30000. But I digress.

1. First things first, cut the income tax in half, for all payers, not just those that make 250,000 or less. More money in the private sphere is the best remedy for a screeching economy. This will promote actual savings and genuine economic growth.

2. Eliminate 5% percent of the Government each year for 10 years, having the effect of reducing the the size of the Government by half while coushening the impact of millions of Government employees integrating into the private sector. Specific areas of the Government that should be cut are the Department of Education, defense, airport security, foreign aid and subsidies of almost every kind. Stimulus packages and public works projects are out of the question. They merely direct human labor to unwanted and wasteful endeavors.

3. An end to all government retirement and welfare programs. Savings is the hallmark of a strong and sustainable economy; Social Security is a huge disincentive to save, as well as being a ponzi scheme that will go bankrupt eventually, either on its own, or when our Government defaults. An end to welfare programs, including for single moms, also must be done. The best way to destroy civilization is to kill the nuclear family, subsidizing single mothers by making Government their husband is a recipe for disaster and the consequences won't go unfelt. Only when we stop sustaining individually and collectively destructive behaviors will we see less of it.

4. Halt immigration for at least 20 years. The ongoing multicultural trainwreck has conclusively demonstrated that a diverse ethnic population does not assimilate together very easily; it only creates a conflict of interest that fuels itself by cheap democracy where voters vote themselves entitlement schemes. Immigration also radically transforms a nations cultural identity, and will destroy American society just as Colonial European immigration destroyed the Indian culture. Maintaining that the Government should Nationality-blind is tantamount to rejecting the concept of "nationhood" altogether.

5. Abolish the Federal Reserve. The FED is merely a tool to increase Government power by allowing it control over the money supply. It has hovered over runaway inflation that destroys savings, and has created far too many boom-and-bust cycles that have wrecked the economy. If the Chairman of the FED was God, it would work; not so well with fallible human beings.

6. An end to no fault divorce laws and other feminist laws in favor of a more patriarchal set up, and restore incentives for men to marry and less incentives for women to divorce. Establish the Fathers as the owners of their children, and make them responsible for their family. Doing this will tame men by putting their vested interest into their families, thereby creating less bastard children without fathers and more fathers working toward a productive goal. The reason patriarchy is necessary for a civilization's existence is because the family is the building block for a healthy society. And while it is true that motherhood is a natural phenomena, the same is not true for fatherhood. This is why fathers MUST have legal responsibility over their biological children and families. Or else the music stops.

7. Financially compensate families that do not put their children in public school. This will encourage people to get out of that deadly institution. Eventually, the public school should be abolished, as it is the primary vehicle of state control over children, as per the Marx's Communist Manifesto.

8. A restriction of voting rights for Government employees and limit it to net tax payers. Voting is a defense mechanism to preserve freedom, so it was never designed to be given to those who would benefit from Government power. If your sissy politically correct mind thinks this is unfair, then consider that there is a fundamental dichotomy between universal suffrage and freedom. Its one or the other; you can't have both.

9. Get the military out of the middle east and all the other countries we are occupying. There is likely to be economic winter in the following years and we cannot afford to be building an overseas empire.

10. Get out of the United Nations. Don't even think about forfeiting our nationhood to be part of some Global power. A global currency is also out of the question.

There are other, less significant, policies that would ameliorate America's economic and cultural woes, but the aforementioned ten will be a start in rebuilding America again.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

On Proffessor Frank Granack

This semester, I have the privilege of being in Dr. Frank Granack class on economics. He is a great teacher and an excellent speaker, not to mention the fact that he frequently digressess in the tangential turf of politics. Its like listening to talk radio.

So far he has gone over the concepts of opportunity cost and scarce resources. From the start he has made it clear that he is a capitalist and opposes Keynesianism by espousing Neoclassicalism. This is great.

I don't agree with him on everything, so I am interested in sparking a few conversations with him. Currently I am trying to piece together his beliefs to see how well they fit. He seems to be a political libertarian, even if he may not call himself that (I don't know yet). I have made one interesting observation so far about a perceived dichotomy.

1. He rejects the Keynesian worldview, ditching it in favor of the ideas of Adam Smith and Milton Friedman (Milton is his favorite economist).
2. As well has getting an economics degree, he majored in psychology, a field largely influenced by Sigmund Freud, whose psychoanalysis formed the basis of John Maynard Keynes's "animal spirits". With this information after the first lecture, I resolved the dichotomy by convincing myself that Granack either didn't make the connection between Freud and Keynes or simply rejected the Freudian worldview.
3. In the second (and latest) lecture, he recounts his dismay at one economist who claimed that consumer confidence "was overrated." Now this makes things interesting. [note for the uniformed reader: consumer confidence and "animal spirits" are practically synonymous]

Is Professor Granack saddling a massive contradiction? I can't answer that at this point. Moreover, it seems to me to be entirely possible that one cannot accept the major role of "animal spirits" while rejecting the efficacy of Government spending and stimulus packages. I don't know, and my knowledge of the subject is far from complete, so I could be voicing an unmerited concern. But I am definitely looking forward to this class, whether or not I resolved this dilemma.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

What the social does for you

But those with whom I was intimate did not act towards me the part of Christians, or even of honest men. Their object seemed to be to make and keep me idle. If ever I appeared studious, they would say to me, "Why in the world should a man of your future trouble himself with fagging?"

Those were the words of William Wilberforce, the great reformer in England best known for his industrious opposition of the slave trade. While he recorded those notes in his diary, they may have as well been said by myself, or anyone else who lives in this world. The social ambiance is now, as it was then, such that most people are OUT TO DESTROY your work ethic by inflicting their habits of sloth, via direct conversation or example. Acquaintances of all kinds will drag you into unproductive behaviors unless you have an internal motivation to say no. Humans, being social creatures, are not wont to say no and resist the temptations.

Wilberforce was an exceptionally gregarious and charming man, which was why he was particularly prone in spending his time around the club and the card table. Only after a religious conversion was he able focus and eventually perturb the orbit that society lied out for him and surmount his lazy habits.

While introverts have a significantly easier time resisting the social pull, they are neither immune to it nor are they necessarily inclined to spend the time on their own productively, as the huge video game market testifies so convincingly. Only if you understand that the world isn't your friend, and adjust your mindset accordingly by no longer seeking approval from others, will you be able to able apply yourself to your full potential.

I got a brief glimpse of that pull at work while I was over at Oak Ridge High School watching a basketball game. Great game, loved watching them play. But one thought that was persistently imposing itself into my mind was that the surrounding kids were remarkably frivolous, creating an environment that reeked of unmerited self-satisfied superiority.

I am not urging you to closet yourself in your work. Nor am I insisting that society has nothing to offer, it does; there really are individuals on your side who will motivate you, in fact much of what jump-started me was knowing someone who was evidently self-driven in all his actions, but they are not the norm so cherish everyone like acquaintance you get.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

In search of Knowledge

I have been immersing myself in the economic and cultural literature, informing me of the overall trend-lines that are occurring in western Civilization. Vox Day, the Mises institute, and the Wall Street Journal have provided the economic info, while the Roissy Cheatuea has delineated the implications of the societal devolution into pre-civilized mating patterns. After ensconcing myself in that material for the previous year, I felt in command of the facts and arguments for what the current social wind portends for the future. I have explicated a bit of the economics side on this little internet outpost, but I have decidedly omitted discussing the Roissy-rich topics of Game theory and its lens for examining society, perhaps I will share a few of his ideas on a future post.

I have, however, neglected the role of technology in the entire process of cultural evolution. What reminded me of this was a dinner table conversation with my father, brother, and I about the possibility that Robots and advanced computers will obviate conscious driving; that cars will be driven by autopilot.

I tried to think of the future state of technology and its ramifications for the world, but I didn't get very far. I just realized that this was a job for much finer and more informed minds than my own. So I am looking for a blogger or author that writes with a morbid wit and expounds about not the technical details but of the general implications future technology will have upon our society. He must also have a major, a perhaps a bit insane, thesis.

Every year I try to find someone new who will guide me in the vast ocean of knowledge within a sensible, explanatory worldview, so perhaps a writer like this will provide an option for the upcoming year.

A conversation with Virgil Vanfair

You've devoted yourself to a strict schedule in a self improvement crusade. What are your primary motivations for doing so?

Ever since the 7th grade, I have been working diligently to sharpen my talents and assets. I don't know how the motivation came to me, or why it came at such an early age, but the thing that keeps me going is previous success, and a desire to get more of it. 2010 was such a good year in this regard, I want an even better one this year.

I have also been a huge fan of reading biographies, which has led me to read about the greats such as Leonardo Da Vinci and Thomas Jefferson from which I have derived inspiration from. I have always aspired to become like the greats and to be a good steward of my God-given talents, I guess thats what drives me.

You show a fair amount of interest in the SAT/PSAT tests, what score are you striving for? Are you a national merit scholar?

As to the latter question. No, for the very good reason that my graduate class will not being receiving recognition until next fall. But my scores are well within the top 1%, so its pretty much a guarantee that I will be at least an outstanding participant. As to the former, my ultimate goal is to get a perfect score, at least on the Reading and Math sections.

What is your I.Q? Have you looked into the various I.Q societies such as Mensa?

Over the supposed genius level. How much over, I don't know, although I suspect it isn't by that much. I have thought about joining the various societies, if I were to pick one to go for, it would be Triple Nine, which requires an I.Q of is one person in a thousand. The thing this, the mensa threshold isn't really all that spectacular. If you have 1000 readers, the chances are that 20 of them are Mensa material. And the fact that the overwhelming majority of politicians and elected leaders can hardly pass that not too impressive mark speaks volumes about who is really running this country.

Where do you stand on the I.Q debate? How much of a role does it play in individual success?

Warren Buff is known to have said that any I.Q points exceeding 125 are wasted if you want to make money. That I can hardly dispute. Although I think the reason most studies show a weak correlation between I.Q and success is because the metric used to define success if financial welfare. The problem is is that many individuals possessing a high intelligence are successful in their field but may not be particularly lucrative. The Scientific profession is a case in point; I very much doubt that a physicist with an I.Q of 150 will make more money that a lawyer with an I.Q of 120.

Anyway, it is not completely true to assert a perfect correlation between the two. Diligence, interpersonal skills, and other modes of creative thinking are just as important in the success equation. To object to the I.Q measure because it does not accurately predict success is a category error; it doesn't because it was merely designed to measure abstract and spatial intelligence in order to predict academic success, which means it isn't a comprehensive Life test.

But I will admit though, SWPL's are a little too enamored of it.

To what extent can you improve your intelligence, and how?

To a great extent, I believe. Although certain types of intelligence can be improved more that others. In garder's division of 7 kinds of Intelligence, I would say that interpersonal, verbal, spatial, and musical provide the greatest room for improvement, whereas math, intrapersonal, and physical, are a little more difficult. The actual intelligence you understand, not the knowledge base. Although it is extremely difficult to become an actual genius in any of those areas without exceptional inborn talent.

On exactly how one goes about boosting it depends on the type. Spatial requires access and proper us of the right side of the brain, which can be difficult to tap in, but produces dramatic results once it is done. This is why some fledgling drawers can get absolutely nowhere in a month and others progress rapidly in the same period. Math requires a similar transformation, but the mechanism behind that transformation is not very well understood, and the effects are less dramatic. Verbal requires just reading, writing and listening to a well written/spoken article of information. Musical demands delving into the logical foundation of musical patterns as described by the scales and improvisation methods. And interpersonal skills can be greatly enhanced when you become a ruthless observer of human behavior and a constant ponderer of that behavior. Vanfair Maxim #23: Observation without proper reflection not only does the mind no good, but does it a disservice by creating an illusion of knowledge and experience. Anyway, an entire book could be written on the subject of intelligence enhancement, I very well may write that book someday, but I not at the moment.

Thank you for the all the insight that you bring to a conversation. One last question, can you provide a list of all your goals for 2011?

I will be posting them sometime this weekend. And thank you, its a pleasure doing this with you.

He will be interviewing me next week on an entirely different subject. The current condition of Western Civilization.