Weekly Roundup: I’ve Been Trying My Whole Life Edition

I don’t recall where I read this, but I was struck by the simple truth of it: “Any political philosophy that is based on the security and sanctity of individual property isn’t going to resonate with people who don’t expect to ever have any.” Your humble author isn’t much of a homeowner; 2,549 square feet in Nowhere, Ohio with the same tile used by McDonald’s. (It’s true. I picked it because they said it was impervious to abuse.) But I am, in fact, a homeowner and have been since I was 29 years old.

Therefore, I think like a homeowner. I don’t blink at my outrageous property taxes, which would finance a new Corvette, because I believe in having nice schools for the kids. I tend to advocate for, and vote for, policies that will assist me in the secure retention and enjoyment of my property, both in the tract-home sense and in the vintage-Porsche sense. When there was a proposal to put a Wal-Mart in my town, I fought it. (We won, but Wal-Mart bracketed us with the canny eye of a Marine forward observer, placing a pair of stores less than half a mile away from our southern and eastern borders, respectively.) There’s no low-income housing where I live. We let our children play outdoors unsupervised. While I am accepting of universal suffrage on a national basis, I think it’s ridiculous that someone could be allowed to rent an apartment within the township limits and then have a say on issues that would affect the community long after their lease expired. That’s like making your investment decisions by asking the fellow ahead of you in line at Burger King.

There was once a time when the median young American lived like I do, and thought like I do, and voted like I do, and that’s how you get the America of 1960, I suppose. Today’s median young American doesn’t live that way, particularly when you narrow it down to people below forty. He’s living in rental housing, usually owned by a faceless corporation or some distasteful oligarch. (True story: much of the rental housing in Columbus is owned by civil-court judges, many of whom received seller financing and low-fee property management services. Chew on that for a minute.) He has no path to home ownership: zero, zilch, nada. Sure, he could move to Mississippi or downtown Detroit and buy a home for a hundred grand. How far would he be from work? How safe would be be?


The massive investment culture of America, operated by and for the Baby Boomer generation and designed to ensure their permanent prosperity unto death, doesn’t exist for this median American. Maybe he has eight grand in a 401k from three contract jobs ago. Maybe he doesn’t even have that. He has a six-year loan on a used car. Yes, he has avocado toast and an iPhone XXII and Uber Eats, but all of it amounts to $500 a month of luxuries in a world where the average home in a major real estate market would mortgage out at between six and fifteen G every thirty days.

Worse than all of this, he has no hope of it being different. Homes and investments appreciate at double digits every year, fueled by Chinese cash seeking sanctuary and JPow’s money printer working to keep the Deep State in power, while his compensation remains the same — if he’s lucky. His grandfather, who bought a home in Southern California while working 34 hours a week at the GM plant in Van Nuys before retiring with three million dollars’ worth of guaranteed pension payouts, tells him to grab his bootstraps and pull hard. He’ll take that advice, he really will. As soon as he pays off the $5600 debt from last year’s Obamacare deductible.

Put yourself in this man’s shoes. (Or woman’s, or whatever else is out there nowadays.) How would you vote? Why, you’d vote for any and all measures that enriched your life at the expense of prior generations and/or the unaccountably wealthy. Why the hell would you care about “the sanctity of private property”? You don’t have any, and you never will. There are people out there who are concerned about the government taking away the guns — but the guns got taken away from everyone in your city a long time ago. (Although people keep getting shot…) That crazy Jack Baruth keeps talking about how new regulations will make it impossible to own the car of your dreams, but how is that relevant to you, when you can barely afford to keep your Jetta on the road?

I think you can see how this flywheel revs up. The middle class loses its prospects due to the actions of a predatory few, which puts the average man in a situation where he will vote for more government power in the interest of redressing the balance. But it doesn’t work that way. Instead, these policies further enfeeble the economic prospects of Americans, which in turn will incentivize even more people to vote for confiscatory, collectivist policies. And pretty soon you’re in the Russia of 1960, as opposed to the America of 1960 you were always told contained the greatest evils imaginable.

This, in a very long nutshell, is why the “conservative” wing in America is deader than dead. The future arguably holds just two choices for valid, effective political thought: violent left-wing socialism in which the wrongthinkers will be bloodily purged on a regular basis and everything in your life from your caloric intake to your sex life will be directly tied to your status within the Party, or violent right-wing populism engaged in a fervent struggle to overthrow that system. That’s it. Don’t think that we will go back to Ronald Reagan’s (or Bill Clinton’s) Normie America of 1980-2000. This ratchet only turns one way.

There is a Third Way, of course, and I’m remiss not to mention it: if neither of the above two ideologies can obtain Absolute Power, at some point the country will be ethnically diverse enough to engage in some authentic Yugoslavia-style kinetic squabbling.

Now I’d like you to hold the above lessons in your mind, in particular people have no loyalty to something that doesn’t exist for them, as you look back up to the top of this article to see Coca-Cola’s Robin DiAngelo Anti-White Training Sessions. You can access this training yourself if you like. What strikes me about the whole Robin DiAngelo shtick is just how Boomer-centric it is. Did the “White” Boomers benefit from White Privilege? Did they live in a world that was designed around them? Probably, on both counts. You can certainly make an argument for it. What about m-m-m-m-m-my generation? I’d say we got less of that Wypipo Love, but I can still remember a couple of incidents from my distant youth where I saw black people treated differently, and worse, than white people.

Alright, let’s fire up The Modern Median Young American from the previous paragraphs, one last time. Let’s adjust him a bit to be “white”, since in the true median sense he is more like a light mocha, but we want a white guy for this. At the age of 29, what advantages can he say he got from his whiteness? What was his college-admissions process like? Did it “privilege” him? How about when he was looking for work? Did anybody reach out to him saying “Hey, we’d like to ensure some opportunities for young Whites in our corporation?” Let’s say he works in the creative fields. Did anyone hire him because they wanted a white voice? Maybe he’s in finance. Did someone give him a promotion to meet a quota for white men?

You know the answer to this — and even if you want to argue the answer, you know what the median American’s perception of the situation is.

Therefore, all this liberal blather about “destroying the privilege of Whiteness” is approximately as relevant to the Median Young American as all the conservative blather about “property rights”. This fellow doesn’t have any property, and he doesn’t have any privilege, at least none that he can easily discern. In the presence of the right people, he can be bullied into lying; when he visits his grandparents for Thanksgiving he might politely agree that yes, Papaw, you have every right to own a mansion and have three Corvettes while I’m trying to pay off last year’s Obamacare deductible, keep on living your best life! When he’s at work, he might nod his head and mouth the platitudes he’s given, just so he has a chance in hell of paying off that deductible instead of returning to the Amazon fulfillment center for his next job.

But he doesn’t believe any of it.

What does he believe? Why, it’s simple. To quote Crash Davis: he believes in the massively multiplayer online role-playing game, the ironic meme, the OnlyFans subscription, the Ikea furniture, the Instagrammed dinner, the Tinder date, the hypebeast street fashion, and long, slow, cut-price vacations via Spirit Airlines that last three days. He’s not going to lift a finger for your culture, or your culture war. It doesn’t matter which side you champion.

Of course, this dispirited nihilism is not unconscious. This fellow knows that something was taken from him. He’s not sure what it was. Was it economic? Racial? National? Freedom? Harmony? Power? The first ideology to make a convincing case on that subject will have his allegiance — and the fire burns in none like the converted. The last time people felt this despondent as a whole was probably the early 1930s. It brought us an age of demagogues: Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Tojo, Roosevelt… Uh, forget that last one. Where we were? Better not to think about it anymore. I’ll get over to LinkedIn for some re-education, stat.

* * *

For Hagerty, I wrote about disappearing chips and a worrisome look at an alternate-universe Ford.

76 Replies to “Weekly Roundup: I’ve Been Trying My Whole Life Edition”

  1. AvatarJohn C.

    Regarding the conundrum facing the young American white male. I think there is one solution. His parents and the crosstown parents of his high school girl friend who also failed to launch get financed by said parents into a home in exchange for giving up the yellow brick road and marrying. That will be an even bigger burden for genx parents that let their kids go into debt for college instead of stepping up themselves for them back in the day. They might find they have more prospects in a place they have actual contacts.

    For it to work, the young ones would have to be up to the extreme pressure of family life. I think that really is the biggest stumbling block. The young man having to put his escapist screen away and the girl her mirror.

    Reply
  2. AvatarArk-med

    Was it the same incompetent journosaur reviewing the Ranchero as was the one who piloted RdV off a cliff twenty-some years prior?

    Reply
  3. AvatarDisinterested-Observer

    I didn’t used to believe this, but income inequality is a problem in its own right. Even if you have an iPhone XXX and food on the table it is still going to be a problem if you have no hope of owning any property of substance and you see no avenue for your children to do so either.

    Reply
  4. AvatarRonnie Schreiber

    While I am accepting of universal suffrage on a national basis

    I’d say that the jury is still out on the 19th Amendment. You can’t blame the ladies for it, though, it was men who gave women the vote.

    Reply
    • AvatarCJinSD

      Liberated women are great. There’s a saying here in Virginia Beach: She’s not your girl, it’s just your turn. Meanwhile, take a look at what the World Economic Forum says is the next step after the pandemic they were modeling in 2019.

      Reply
    • AvatarIce Age

      Ever see that episode of The Man Show where they went around asking people to sign a gag petition to repeal women’s suffrage, on the grounds that no one wanted women to suffer?

      Reply
      • Avatarhank chinaski

        That show was a gift of its time, and summarily memory holed as Kimmel became a woke mainstream TV host. Another highlight: asking women their weight while they stood on a hidden scale. Or Kimmel in blackface as a regular bit.
        As a whole, women will vote anti-civilization. It could be argued that (some) married mothers could be given a pass.

        Reply
    • Avatarstingray65

      Ronnie, I don’t think the jury is still out. It is very clear that giving women the vote has been a huge mistake as women clearly favor the “equity” agenda involving higher taxes on the successful, ever greater expansion of the welfare state, restrictions on free speech, heavy regulation of business, and generally bigger government intrusion into everyone’s lives. Taking it even a step further, imagine the size of the US government and welfare state if only net taxpayers could vote (i.e. those who pay more taxes than they receive in salary and benefits from government).

      Reply
      • AvatarRonnie Schreiber

        Female humans, particularly those who have children, are primarily concerned with material survival, despite the fact that many engage in behavior that sabotages personal and communal material wellbeing. Ironically, many end up ignoring or exacerbating those factors that threaten community or national survival.

        Reply
  5. AvatarDirty Dingus McGee

    Gonna need a BIG bowl of popcorn for this one.

    I’m of an age now where I give zero f*&cks about what ANYONE thinks of me.I’ve made my, albeit small, mark and am now happy to let others fight about this stuff. I’ll just use my white boomer privilege to sit back and take it easy once myself and my hispanic partner decide to retire.

    ” the wrongthinkers will be bloodily purged on a regular basis”

    I think we are very close to that right now, given all that’s going on. Makes me glad I never participated in any of the social media, just to be smacked with the ban hammer, or the howls from those who disagree and decide I need to be “canceled”.

    Reply
      • AvatarDirty Dingus McGee

        But they can only win if I decide to play the game. If you’re in a position where there is little they can do to ruin you, you’re 3/4 of the way to winning.

        I’ve made my plans to gradually withdraw from the BS that is taking over. If the need arose, I could accelerate that plan into action in about 1 month.At that point, I’ll be the gray man.

        Could TPTB take me down? Probably. But it won’t happen without a lot of effort on their part. And I’m almost at an age where life in prison isn’t much of a deterrent.

        Reply
  6. AvatarIce Age

    Jack, your comment about the world stealing your adulthood has been stuck in my head for weeks. I’m think I’m about five or so years younger than you, so that makes us part of the same generation. And roughly the same situation.

    I keep thinking about how we’re the last generation of Americans to actually buy into the idea that if we were good little boys & girls and got college degrees, we were basically guaranteed a good life. Of course, it was never sold to us in as many words, but that was certainly the gist of it. We swallowed it hook, line & sinker because none of us knew any better. That’s how America had been for at least four generations before us, and it was as natural as breathing.

    So I went and got my Bachelor’s degree. I obeyed the rules. I never did anything that made someone I love stare at me in horror and haltingly ask, “My God…what have you done?” So where’s my nice, stable, quiet life of ever-increasing accomplishment and financial security? That’s what America promised me, and I held up my end.

    I don’t own a house because I’ve spent this entire century moving from one contract job to another every few years, all over the country, and have never been in a stable-enough employment situation to risk getting a mortgage. Unless I somehow invent the next light bulb or personal computer, I doubt I ever will be. My dad, on the other hand, was a homeowner at 27 and has been ever since.

    The worst part of it all is the uncertainty. As a nation, as a society, as a people, we don’t know where we are on the overall continuum. All nations, like human beings, have a natural lifespan. So where is America right now, circa 2021? Are our current national troubles really the beginning of the end? Are we really about to topple into the ravine of a new Dark Ages? Or is all this crap simply another hiccup in the life of a great-but-troubled individual, no different proportionally than a bankruptcy or DUI arrest?

    You know, give it 15 years and our current troubles will seem no more relevant than a No Irish Need Apply sign? I know that I’d be a lot healthier psychologically I knew this was all going to blow over and we could get back to the status quo that has prevailed, more or less intact, for the last four centuries.

    Reply
  7. Avatarstingray65

    As usual a lot to digest in this very thoughtful essay. One area I have to disagree with you on a bit is your rose colored description of the “good old days” when a young high school or college graduate could buy a home and affordable car because of nice secure and well paid manufacturing employment. Your house is 2500 sq ft, which is about the current average of newly constructed homes in the US, while McMansions are defined as those over 3,000 sq ft. In comparison the average new home constructed in 1950 was less than 1,000 sq. ft. and by 1970 this was up to about 1,500., most likely with 1 bathroom (maybe 1.5 by 1970), no central air, probably a 1 car garage at best, unfinished basement (if it has one), and genuine vinyl flooring and formica countertops. That house had one 13 to 19 inch black and white TV that got 3 channels, and broke regularly when a vacuum tube went on the fritz, and small closets containing one “Sunday” suit and a small assortment of casual clothes that were patched and repaired as needed. The car in the garage almost certainly did not have air-conditioning or power windows or cruise control, and probably not even power steering or brakes or functioning seatbelts, and if more than 5 years old was rusty (or was full of Bondo), had tears and splits in the vinyl or cheap fabric seats, and was using a quart of oil every 300 miles because at 50,000+ miles it needed a valve job and the piston rings were tired – and speaking of tires those old skinny bias-belt jobs lasted 10-15,000 miles before they were bald. Health insurance and perhaps even a pension was included as part of the employment, but healthcare consisted of pain-killers to ease you towards an easy death from the cancer or heart disease there were no effective treatments for, and when the economy took some hits in the 1970s to 1990s most of those pension promises turned out to be less than promised. If you were one of the lucky 30% of the population who was “college material” your choice was generously subsidized state schools where large section classes were cruelly designed to weed out the weak (and there were no victim studies programs as “fall-back” majors), and dorms and classrooms most closely approximated WWII era army barracks in terms of comforts and conveniences, or “expensive” private schools with smaller classes taught in dorms and classrooms most closely approximated WWII era army barracks in terms of comforts and conveniences. So yes houses, cars, college educations, and health insurance were often more affordable in the old days (even inflation adjusted), but the quality, conveniences, comforts, and easy availability that everyone (especially young people) expects today were also most often sorely lacking.

    What else did the US not have in the good old days? Well there were no open borders to let in lots of unskilled labor and welfare cases. There were also no government policies specifically designed to make energy more expensive and less reliable, and in fact the Department of Energy was created to find ways to keep energy prices low and energy security high. There were few welfare programs so able bodied people were expected to work or be supported by family instead of the government, and there were real social stigmas against going on welfare even for the sick and disabled. Government spending was low as government employees didn’t have gold plated pensions, and most government expenditures were directed at security enhancing and technology advancing military and space programs. The sales and property taxes that impact the lower income the most were low because schools and government offices were barebones, public sector employees were were poorly paid, and there was zero diversity and inclusion administration to pay for. Victims and losers were not celebrated as heroes and role models, while builders, geniuses, and high performers generally who were disproportionately white and male were not portrayed as racists, sexists, and oppressors as they are today. In other words, in the good old days the system was designed to protect and promote the people who created new industries, created businesses and jobs, worked hard at school and their jobs, followed the law, paid taxes, formed families and raised children, and were proud to be Americans, and not support or punish people who did the opposite.

    Reply
    • AvatarJMcG

      The United States Government used to represent the American people to the world. Now, the United States Government represents the world to the American people.

      Reply
      • AvatarRonnie Schreiber

        I disagree partly. While they no longer represent the interest of the American people, the United States government, politicians and public employees alike, represent their own interests. I will agree that they see some of those interests as mutual with EU fanboys and other globalists, but ultimately they’re in it for themselves.

        Reply
        • Avatarstingray65

          I agree Ronnie – to the extent they enlist the EU and other globalists as allies it is only to support more power and resources for themselves. In fact, my feeling is that Trump was seen as such a huge threat because he came into office with a business background that put real value on making deals and getting things done, which was a scary prospect for career bureaucrats. Who need all kinds of middle-East experts if all the Arabs have made peace with Israel and the US is self-sufficient on oil? Who needs a huge welfare state if 97+% of the people are working in a booming economy and keeping what they earn because of tax cuts? Who needs a huge defense if NATO pays their own share, the US stays out of civil wars, and the military focuses on killing power instead of social justice and diversity? Bureaucrats don’t gain power and budgets by solving problems – Trump had to go.

          Reply
  8. Avatarstingray65

    Interesting that 81 million live, dead, illegal, and phantom voters mostly living in places with corrupt, ineffective, and expensive local governance just replaced a president who was for low cost and reliable energy, border walls and limited legal immigration, lower taxes and regulation, a strong military but with fewer foreign commitments and wars, and fair trade deals, which created a booming economy that took more people off welfare, put more low skill people in paid employment, and raised low end wages faster than any president in 50+ years. This “evil” and “Hitler like” president was replaced by a doddering old man who is senile, corrupt, always on the wrong side of important issues during 47 years of “public service”, and who selected a cabinet based on diversity and cronyism rather than skill and merit, and who turns out to have no Covid plan other than keeping the country locked down and double-masked up indefinitely, but thinks the top national priority should be immediately stopping highly paid union jobs that provide secure and cheap energy, opening borders to unskilled and Covid infected illegal “immigrants”, helping transgenders beat up biological women in sports and bathrooms, and generally raising taxes and regulations to make up for the “damage” done over the past 4 years.

    Reply
  9. AvatarKoR

    The chip shortage is absolutely wreaking havoc with used light truck prices at the moment. Like to the point where high demand, low supply models (Toyota trucks in particular) are going for just batshit prices. How does $40k for a 2016 Tundra TRD with 30k miles on it sound? Used Tacoma’s and Tundras are surpassing MSRP *at auctions*. It’s nuts, and notably so because despite their reputations, the hard truth is that they suck to drive. A Nissan Titan, the truck absolutely everyone has forgotten about, will get you a hell of a lot better driving experience for the money..

    So, for anyone who has a Tundra or TRD Tacoma, the good move is to sell it right now and enjoy having made money on a car for once.

    Reply
  10. AvatarJeff Zekas

    Jack, your comments are right on.

    One difference I’d like to mention: as a Boomer, I am leaving all my stuff to my kids. Not that it matters: they all own houses (except for the youngest, who is vagabond) and the all have good jobs. The best advice I ever gave them: don’t go to college. It worked.

    The American Dream is still out there. It just takes more work. And any Baby Boomer with half a brain, will leave their wealth to the kids, not the government. “Meet the new boss. Sam as the old boss. We won’t get fooled again.”

    Reply
    • Avatarstingray65

      “…And any Baby Boomer with half a brain, will leave their wealth” ah, but there’s the rub – those without the privilege of at least half a brain and their children are being discriminated against by people like you Jeff. Sure your kids are doing well and might receive a nice little inheritance, but what about the kids of the stupid, the lazy, and the irresponsible? Who is going to leave them a nice chunk of change to invest in Air Jordans, a tasteful sleeve or two of tattoos, “medical” marijuana, or a $100,000 degree in interpretive dance? Fairness and equity demand that Uncle Sam take some of your privileged wealth that your kids don’t need anyway, and give it to the underprivileged to follow their dreams.

      Reply
  11. AvatarDan

    It’s brilliant when you think about it. Rich white people, or at least identifying as such when it’s convenient for them, have successfully sold the narrative that the reason they own everything and the other 95% own nothing is because of white oppression, and simultaneously that the cure for that white oppression is publicly shitting on white people who don’t own anything. They keep their boats. Poor people give up their magnet schools. It works on so many levels.

    It halves the inequality problem with one stroke of the pen, because deprivation is racial and white people can’t truly be deprived.

    It gives dysfunctional brown people a safe (at least unless you’re a cop, brick and mortar store, or similar deplorable) and approved outlet for their frustrations.

    It’s one more sap beneath civic and by extension political unity when a functioning US, or maybe EU, government is the only remaining power big enough to check their monopolies.

    And it can’t be opposed in polite society because they spent they spent a full generation teaching us that racism is the worst thing in the world, so do you want to overtly speak up for white people and be literally Hitler?

    I don’t think your Modern Median Young American is as ambivalent to this as you suggest. White privilege in any concrete sense hasn’t existed in his lifetime. The whites need not apply remediations are concrete, and he’s paying for them.

    Meanwhile, the uniparty declares critical thinking fundamentally flawed. https://archive.is/iNDt6#selection-939.0-939.19

    Reply
    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      That link is fucking disgusting and everything “taught” within should be considered as dangerous as anthrax.

      Reply
      • AvatarRonnie Schreiber

        There is some useful information there, I don’t have a problem telling people they can verify a fact and figure out how sketchy a source is with just a few clicks, but those folks obviously have an agenda.

        His quick searches showed a pattern: Mr. Kennedy’s claims were outside the consensus — a sign they were motivated by something other than science.

        I happen to agree that Robert Kennedy Jr. is an anti-vaxxer nutcase but I would point out the examples of Gallileo, Copernicus, and Einstein as scientists who were outside the consensus of their day.

        “Science is the Belief in the Ignorance of the Experts” – Richard Feynman, Nobel Laureate in Physics

        There are reasons why scientific experiments must be reproducible. People make mistakes. People can be corrupt.

        A friend of mine is a transplant cardiologist. He told me that on his first day of med school, one of the professors told the class, “Half of what you will learn in the next four years will eventually be proven to be wrong. We just don’t know which half.”

        Reply
  12. AvatarNoID

    I’ll add to the author’s introductory line that any political philosophy that is based on the security and sanctity of individual liberty or identity isn’t going to resonate with people who can’t exercise the former and don’t recognize the latter.

    That is to say, someone who doesn’t have any real agency in their life isn’t going to defend the agency of those who do, and in their rush to align themselves with some larger injured or oppressed in-group to justify their suffering they will miss entirely that the whole point of equality in the first place is to ensure that people are treated AS INDIVIDUALS and not maligned due to their membership in an assigned group. And so by aligning themselves with the maligned they in become the malignant.

    Anyways, that’s enough positivity for one day.

    Reply
    • AvatarDaniel J

      This is similar to how Thomas Sowell points to the left’s “cosmic” justice vs the right’s “traditional” justice.

      Many on the left are “don’t haves” and believe in cosmic justice while those on the right are the “haves” which believe in traditional just, or at the very least, justice for the individual.

      Of course, this falls apart when we look at the white privilege of areas of the deep south, Kentucky, or West Virginia. The talking heads, like Don Lemon, make you believe that these people don’t know how to use their whiteness. Who’s fault is that? Other white people?

      Reply
  13. AvatarTHX 1138

    Don’t waste time thinking for yourself: just rely on google and wikipedia to feed your opinion. And tell you who to listen to.

    It’s much easier that way! You will own nothing, and be happy.

    Reply
  14. Avatargtem

    The “whiteness advantage” they’ll tell you Jack, is growing up in a stable household with a present father, and they’ll attack that as something to apparently be eliminated(?) to achieve “equity”

    My wife and I are blessed in that we were able to buy our first home at 27, did well on the sale of it and now have our beautiful “forever” home on an acre lot in a small dreamy early 90s subdivision in one of the best public school districts in the country. Our HOA president is a father of four and on the school board. My plan is to follow those footsteps and to be VERY involved at my son’s school. I see what’s already happening in coastal states (https://dailycaller.com/2021/02/10/gay-father-mixed-race-children-was-too-white-for-the-san-francisco-school-board/), and plan to be a vanguard against the insanity for the sake of not just my own son but all the other kids. The “problem” of the lily white suburbs are what I’ll term as the “BLM moms.” Antigun activist Shannon Watts lives here btw. Well meaning but clueless white women (and men I suppose, but mostly women), the sort that will adopt an abused pitbull and then act surprised when it mauls her toddler.

    Reply
    • AvatarNoID

      Same here gtem. Married at 17, first child at 18, moved 600 miles away from home and support on my 19th birthday to attend college, graduated with a 3.89 GPA and was commencement speaker, by that time with 3 kids and a job offer in hand, and purchased a house that same year. About half of my degree was scholarships, half was student loans. My parents probably gave us $200/year, ditto my wife’s parents. Mine were busy fighting bankruptcy (they won, but barely) and hers were busy raising the rest of her younger siblings (I was the youngest of my family, she was the 2nd oldest of hers).

      Was I the beneficiary of “white privilege” along the way? Heck yeah, but much more socially than financially. But what’s the alternative, kneecap me for my sins of success? How about instead of tearing down “whiteness” we focus on identifying real areas where people are direct or secondhand victims of systemic racism (redlining, gerrymandering, etc) and fix those old problems, instead of letting the Guilt Trip Travel Agency, LLC send us all to the cultural gulag over the sins of our fathers? It’s especially poetic that the people running the travel agency *coughJoeBidencough* are by and large the ones who actually committed those sins, but they want all of us to do the time for them.

      Reply
      • Avatargtem

        I wrote a long-winded bit in the last “the critics respond” post, but it bears repeating: most of our societal ills can be traced to the mass fatherlessness of so many kids, which has been both generational for many Black families, but increasingly for white ones. Root cause of the instability (IMO) is the loss of well paying working class jobs for dads, and the introduction of Great Society benefits that allowed moms to not rely on said working dads, and instead be rewarded financially for every new fatherless kid. I’d rather incentivize the families that stay together, and somehow dis-incentivize the baby-momma phenomenon without completely throwing current single moms and their dependents to the wolves.

        Reply
        • AvatarDan

          I was thinking about this the other day and had a related ah-ha moment. All of the ills of fatherlessness have been done to death, but on top of that how many kids (that don’t speak Spanish at home) even with a father have a brother anymore? Giving a kid all the attention all the time with no rivalry nor caretaking could be expected to create the narcissistic snowflakes we’re now plagued with.

          This isn’t a complex problem looking for an elegant and nuanced solution. Stop paying whores to have bastards. Start paying families to raise larger ones.

          Reply
  15. AvatarPlegos

    You cheekily put FDR on your list of demagogues without acknowledging that he was primarily responsible for creating the “golden age” of 1960-era America.

    Reply
    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      No, I put Roosevelt on my list. You naturally assumed I meant FDR, because Teddy Roosevelt was a decent human being who didn’t stimulate an economy by fire-bombing a million-plus dead children in Tokyo, Dresden, and elsewhere while buddying up to Joe Stalin and supporting HIS economy as well. 🙂

      Reply
      • AvatarPlegos

        Setting aside the argument of how WWII was fought (I suspect we would have similar views), would you be willing to go back to the tax rates, union membership rates, and general government control of economic matters that would be necessary to re-create the economy of 1960-era America?

        Reply
        • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

          I wouldn’t be totally against it, although I don’t know how much all of that contributed to making that particular society the way it was. When all was said and done I think I paid about $73k in income and property taxes last year. Make it $100k and give me a world where everybody works 9-to-5 in a tie then comes home to intact families? With the additional understanding that I will own less stuff than I have now, but that my son will play neighborhood baseball until all the moms call them home for supper? I’m probably willing to make that deal.

          Alternately, I’d be happy to go back in time and just live the life of a Ford line worker in the Sixties. 1200 square foot house, cabin on the lake, a new Galaxie every two years, retire at 55.

          Reply
          • AvatarTJ

            >>Alternately, I’d be happy to go back in time and just live the life of a Ford line worker in the Sixties. 1200 square foot house, cabin on the lake, a new Galaxie every two years, retire at 55.

            Sounds like darn-close-to my dream, right now, as a 30-ish year old white guy.

    • AvatarJohn Lock

      Not sure how anyone can factually base this claim without pointing that to achieve this he would’ve needed to purposely plan the destruction of the rest of the world economy to set up the golden age. While simultaneously ignoring how horrible the results of the New Deal were on the US economy, essentially extending and expanding Hoover’s policies. FDR’s legacy is a paper tiger, widely and ignorantly trumpeted for achievements, however easily torn asunder with any critical examination.

      Reply
  16. AvatarJeff Weimer

    The two examples of “systemic racism” you mention…aren’t really. Redlining (and other things like racial covenants) have been banned for decades, and gerrymandering in *favor* of minorities (minority-majority districts) is required by the Civil Rights Act. “Preclearance” of changes to districts in certain areas by the DOJ is no longer required, but state governments still must conform to the law. Some of the strangest congressional districts you see are a result of following that requirement.

    Reply
    • AvatarNoID

      Yes, redlining is illegal now. But the effects of redlining are still being felt. If your parents or grandparents were prohibited from building generational wealth through property ownership, the impact of that can extend across the generation. It’s the difference between establishing your family in Clarendon Hills versus Chiraq.

      And please don’t take this as some kind of all-or-nothing endorsement of the privilege argument, simply a recognition that my family’s generational ability to own property in nice areas definitely helped build a foundation from which I could launch myself out into the world. Yes, my parents’ financial position degraded heavily from my late childhood into my early adulthood, but they had room to fail. Yeah, they spent the better part of 5 years living in an unheated, uncooled, leaking, creaking old farmhouse in Virginia after they sold everything they owned at a loss to avoid bankruptcy, BUT THEY HAD INHERITED PROPERTY TO FALL BACK ON, and after toughing it out for long enough to avoid paying capital gains tax on the property they sold it and bought a house in the northern Virginia ‘burbs and are now enjoying life instead of survival. How many people dodging bullets in Chiraq have that luxury?

      That is privilege due, in part, to the fact that I come from a line of old fat white guys instead of enslaved black guys. Did my grandfather work his ass off to build a life for my father, who in turn worked his ass off for mine? Absolutely. The difference is that for a long time people were not given that opportunity, and while I don’t believe in handicapping or demanding penance from people who HAD those opportunities, I do believe that we should count our blessings and do our best as a society to help those people who did not have similar opportunities.

      Now, as it pertains to race, this means I am one thousand percent against race-based quotas, preferences, penalties, etc. I’m much more in favor of programs/policies designed to directly help those people who are affected by historic or current limitations to their opportunities. Demonstrate a wound, and we can work to address it. Assuming a wound based on skin color…well, that sounds kinda racist don’t ya think?

      Reply
      • AvatarJohn Lock

        Your position assumes that only wealth building in real estate can be done outside of minority communities. Sounds kinda racist don’t ya think?

        Inherited property going back 4-5 generations was not as prevalent due to larger family sizes and lower rates of property ownership, another issue that people to consider when espousing a position on the issue similar to yours.

        Reply
      • Avatarstingray65

        Most people receive little or no inheritance – I seem to recall something like $15,000 was the median, which is hardly a life changing amount, and given the longer lifespans these days the likelihood that anyone receives a substantial inheritance from their parents while they are still young enough for it to give them a real boost in life is even smaller. The US has also had a history of immigrants coming into the country with few assets and becoming self-made people of substantial wealth that includes more recent groups such as escapees from Hitler and Soviet dominated Europe, and escapees from Castro’s Cuba, and “unified” Vietnam, while the research behind the “Millionaire Next Door” found that most millionaires were self-made from modest backgrounds and that substantial inheritances were often detrimental to the children of the wealthy.

        Reply
        • Avatarsgeffe

          My maternal grandparents came from Romania to the Detroit area, sponsored by a local Lutheran Church, in 1957. My grandfather, a barrel-maker and woodworker by trade, got a job working at the GM Technical Center in Warren, MI in the modeling area. They built a modest life for themselves and their three children, and left each child a helluva bankroll! They were very proud of their accomplishments, and what America stood for! Among the cohort of other folks who accompanied them in their journey here, there were couples who achieved even greater successes, both financially and personally.

          Now, of course, their graves are being stomped on by these “takers” streaming over the border in droves, who have no desire whatsoever to assimilate into the “melting pot” and learn the language, all aided and abetted by offers of “free stuff” from the people holding the levers of power in hopes of having this bloc of potential voters cement their permanent majority!

          If you want to come here, fine! Just don’t expect handouts, nor a vote, until you achieve citizenship!

          I can’t for the life of me figure out when the parallel universe we’re living in, where wrong is “right,” sloth is revered and achievement is reviled, and where the Balkanization of this country into fiefdoms of “protected classes” and fifteen-bazillion genders began! Under Bill Clinton? Or Lyndon Johnson? Arguably, Bereft Insane Osama blew the lid off the pressure cooker, along with the crap that took place in terms of social upheaval in the 1960s as it relates to counterculture.

          Reply
      • AvatarJeff Weimer

        We’ve solved the “historic” problem. Reaching back to somehow correct the diffuse effects of policies such as redlining is more trouble than it’s worth. FWIW, the “majority-minority” districts are such a reach-back “solution” and one can see how it has warped politics for the worse. And that’s just the congressional representatives that law has enabled to be elected.

        Reply
  17. AvatarScottm

    My 23 year old white step son graduated in May with a Chemical Engineering degree and a minor in Japanese. He had a job lined up with Toyota at the Tupelo, Mississippi Corolla plant that was rescinded due to Covid. His alcoholic father passed away from liver failure this summer and he handled all of the estate liquidation with help from me and his mother only when requested. Which was very little. Toyota called him in December and he started a job last month at $78K plus OT. Now, how did he get to there? Planning and focus. I have a Chemistry degree and promised that I would help with college as long as he majored in something useful. He focused on math and science in high school and also earned his Eagle Scout badge. He did a year in Japan as a Rotary exchange student and we paid into a pre-paid tuition plan starting when he was in junior high. Between scholarships and the prepaid tuition his student loans total $20K. His goal is to move to Japan where they still value intelligence and hard work, and I will be very surprised if he doesn’t eventually make that happen.

    Bottom line to me is that young people still have opportunity in America and internationally if they plan and make intelligent decisions. Eventually our betters will H1b engineering just like they did IT, but not yet.

    Reply
  18. Avatargtem

    A privileged question for you Jack: did you and your son ever consider the transition into the world of MX from BMX racing? I’m getting real excited for my little guy to start riding a bike (he’s 21 months old and on the cusp of riding his tricycle), two wheels is a hop and a skip from there. I see little ones starting on little 50cc dirtbikes at 3-4 years old and I’m kind of hankering to step into that world myself (I’m keeping street riding to a minimum while I have a family to raise, but looking for an outlet as of late). Have owned some dual sports and have done my fair share of single track MTB, but never MTB racing (or BMX racing). In my mind it would be cool to have something to tinker with and put him on the path of pride of ownership and small engine maintenance. But staying to the non-powered side of things has a lot of merit as well: namely happier neighbors.

    Reply
    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      Long/disjointed answer to this:

      * I never had enough money to race MX as a kid or young adult. In 2015 I broke my leg training to run the Elsinore GP with Husqvarna and since then I’ve stuck to street motorcycles, which I’ve ridden without incident since 1992.
      * My son rode a PW50 and TTR90 for a few years but has lost interest in motocross entirely, he’d rather ride his bike. I don’t think he’s ridden a gas-powered motorcycle since 2018 (he has an electric Ducati Monster replica for goofing around on)

      My concern with motocross for him is that riding and competing at even a regional level means you will be injured in permanent and unrecoverable ways. Not that downhill MTB is much better but at least the bike itself won’t badly injure you during a crash.

      Something else that’s been on my mind: whether I’d let him have a street motorcycle, and when. The roads are exponentially more dangerous for motorcyclists now than they were when I started riding. 25% of drivers have no license because they aren’t citizens. Another 25% have no insurance. The remaining 50% can afford an iPhone and they’re looking at it. I would say that one out of every ten times I ride I have to avoid being struck by a driver who simply isn’t looking.

      Reply
      • Avatargtem

        Your last paragraph is exactly why my street riding is going to be limited to low key Sunday rides out in farm country, on my trusty old XS500 ($50 barn find back in highschool, fixed it up and rode it from NY to CA and back in a big loop in college). That’s the most I’m willing to risk until my kids graduate highschool.

        I suppose the MX stuff can ramp up pretty quickly from just some fun weekends putting around the track to entering races and starting to get airborne, etc. Good food for thought, thanks.

        Reply
      • AvatarRobert

        “riding and competing at even a regional level means you will be injured in permanent and unrecoverable ways” – Jack is 100% correct here. I was a regional MX racer for about 10 years from 1988 to 1998. I racked up:

        At least 3 concussions, including a traumatic brain injury that left a two week gap in my mental tape deck.
        Broken left radius.
        Separated left shoulder.
        Several herniated disks.
        Right hip popped out of joint.
        Perhaps 30 plastic trophies, maybe 5 or 6 with the #1 on them.

        20 odd years later, I still think it was worth it because it kept me employed through school at a motorcycle shop and it kept me focused and otherwise out of trouble, but I can’t in good conscience recommend it to anyone because I’m in pain every day, can’t sleep through the night, and I walk crooked.

        Reply
        • Avatargtem

          Damn. I wonder if its possible to keep it recreational without going down the competitive route. Easier said than done.

          Reply
          • AvatarPete Madsen

            I’m reminded here of one supervisor I had who put himself through college on a football scholarship knowing that he would probably spend the rest of his life with knees that hurt, and accepting the tradeoff. He ended up with degrees in both chemistry and chem engineering and a career in those fields. He’d been the only Portuguese kid in a big-city Italian neighborhood and knew how to take care of himself.

      • AvatarJMcG

        My son is still in high school and has his Pilot Certificate, as do I. I used to race motorcycles and ride them on the street. I have no problem with my son taking the risks inherent in flying small planes, but over my dead body will he get a street bike.
        To a first approximation, EVERYBODY driving a car or truck is engaged with his phone to one degree or another. I don’t know what the statistics say, but riding a motorcycle on the street in any kind of populated area is just crazy these days.
        Of course, I remember my first skydiving instructor lecturing me on the dangers of motorcycles back in ‘81; so there’s that.

        Reply
  19. AvatarDaniel J

    This post is somewhat confusing because the reality I see: the 29 year old white guy, in mass numbers, is on Twitter championing the wokeness. Whether he believes it or not, it doesn’t matter. It’s winning the culture war, and everyone on the right keeps saying, “It’s only social media, not IRL”. They’ve done lost because the culture war on social media has already come to the streets of real life, If the right, especially the older members of the “right” don’t get their crap together, they are going to get ran over by the “wokeness”

    Reply
    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      Twitter is an odd amplifier. My experience among real human beings is that most young men think of wokeness as a bullet to be dodged, not a cause to be celebrated. They’re not on Twitter fighting back against it for the same reason people don’t protest in Chinese squares.

      Reply
      • AvatarDaniel J

        Jack,

        I live in the deep south but in a tech city that is marginally red. The voting record would make one believe that the city is more red than it is. It is more a case that we haven’t had competent local DNC leadership in decades.

        What I see:

        1. Yes, twitter and FB are odd amplifiers. But even in a red area like I live, neighbors and even friends no longer talk to each other or when they do, they get into shouting matches over politics. This is happening to the early to late 20’s crowd. The arguments stem from lies coming from twitter, FB, and the media. These are engineers, mostly men. And many of their own political views are getting drowned out by their 20 something girlfriend or wife.

        2. Again, even living in a red area like I do, there is a small loud minority of woke-isms that is driving politics and even culture here. While you are correct, that many of these just graduated engineering school to early career men, in some cases, are just trying to dodge a bullet, there are a growing minority railing against their parents about their privilege and whiteness.

        3. If they aren’t on twitter or FB fighting back, then they are apart of the problem, no? Even young contemporary conservative talking heads are telling their peers that we must fight back. Shouldn’t those who own property or aspire to one day own property fight back? Too many of my older coworkers keep saying it’s a social media thing, it’s a fad, it will pass. The longer they keep thinking that, the more they will lose their values and freedoms.

        Reply
    • AvatarJohn Lock

      The right has lost more than the culture war on social media (that due to purposely designed algorithms and other methods enforced by big tech to the desired end results). It has been lost on all fronts except in real life small towns. However, that is even being greatly eroded. TV, Radio, social media, corporations and others have sought to fortify the results in the world that powerful people want.

      https://time.com/5936036/secret-2020-election-campaign/

      The new world is being designed to remove infrastructure can get in the way of achieving the end results that powerful people desire. A banana republic we have with a facade of the old ways that were presented to us as the Great American Dream (which is apparently racist now).

      Reply
    • AvatarDan

      Add to that, how many of those “29 year old white guys” bashing white people on Twitter are actually members of the tribe that most disproportionately owns everything in this country yet, coincidentally enough, have been entirely left out of the conversation they started about redistributing disproportionate privilege.

      Reply
        • AvatarDan

          I resent that Ronnie. I don’t hate Jews, at all. I don’t hate anyone for success. I don’t believe in collective guilt for bad politics, or for anything else. I shouldn’t have to disclaim that.

          But I don’t love them enough to be able to lie to you, or lie to myself, that it’s somehow unclear which tiny demographic owns the newsrooms, and Hollywood, and singlehandedly funds literally half of the Democrat party (and a quarter of the Pubs), and has us neck deep in the sandbox forever, and all of the other ongoing things that everybody knows but doesn’t talk about.

          Because it’d get you cancelled before getting cancelled was a thing.

          Reply
    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      I’d be surprised if they had anything on the 200mm process.

      I’d also be surprised if they were working on any further fab there. It’s going to Taiwan; Intel threw in the towel. They’ll join Levi Strauss and many other American companies in the ranks of those who started out as manufacturers and ended up being a label to put on Chinese goods.

      Reply
      • Avatargtem

        On a related note, just got a pair of classic medium stonewash jeans in from All American Clothing out of Ohio. Have an old school “90s Dad” vibe to them, higher waist, etc. I’m embracing that. Fantastic look and feel and fit, all for the same price as Bangladeshi (or whatever) Levis, $65 plus $10 shipping. Might stop by to stock up in person next time.

        Reply
      • AvatarTJ

        Perhaps not — I’m not sure what architecture they are currently working with. I do know its an older one, and I also do know they have been hiring, and retooling to build something “next generation,” which is contributing to our massive local housing shortage.

        Reply
  20. AvatarDaniel J

    Interestingly enough, most of the major Auto rags have ran stories in regards to the chip shortage. Biden signs an EO so the government can “review” the supply chain issue. Government intervention will most likely make the problem worse, not better. I’ve heard increasing tariffs to bolster domestic supply. I thought Orange Man Bad? I thought tariffs were bad? Raising the minimum wage sure ain’t going to increase domestic production.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.