COVID was like Ferris Bueller’s Two Years Off

In a COVID panic, we told people to stop working. It became not only permissible not to work, it became a mandate. Sitting around the house watching daytime TV in pajamas became the responsible thing to do. With no one working, unsurprisingly, no work got done. It was like a two-year snow day. Or Ferris Bueller’s Two-Years Off. Democrats loved it, of course, because Democrats hate work.

COVID killed nearly a million Americans (though most had what the doctors euphemistically call “comorbidities”). And the lockdowns and mandates for masks, vaccines and social distancing (at least when one wasn’t rioting) were bad. And the lost year or two of learning for an entire generation was tragic (though we could make that up in four months if we improved the schools and tamed the teachers unions).

But the most destructive outcome of COVID was the destruction of the American work ethic. That’s the ethic — now considered a quaint notion — that work is good. It’s good for the pocketbook, good for the soul, and good for society.

Americans weren’t the first to dream up an ethic of work. It’s goes back to ancient times. It later produced and flourished in the Renaissance.

But in the late 20th century, the work ethic survived best in America. Part of American culture was the idea that work brought happiness and money to the worker and brought wealth to society. Moreover, it was only right — ethical — that the money paid to a worker should be approximately proportional to the value of his work.

Quibble about whether work is a good thing or a bad thing for an individual, but there’s no quibbling about the effect on society. Working hard produces a wealthy society. Americans did, and were.

But if no one is working during COVID, then what would keep the economy going? Some genius politicians announced that we would send people free money. With the free money, they would continue to buy stuff even if they aren’t getting a paycheck anymore, and so the economy would keep churning along.

The government printed up trillions of dollars of paper money and sent it to the people. It was like a trillion free lunches.

But it raised a question: If everybody gets a free lunch and nobody is working, then how do the lunches get made? In classical economics terms, this approach guaranteed a mismatch between — trigger warning! — supply and demand. We juiced demand by sending people free money to buy stuff, and simultaneously choked off supply by telling people not to work to make stuff.

When demand far exceeds supply, the result is usually inflation. When too much money chases too few goods, the few goods get essentially auctioned off to the highest bidder.

(The left sees this as the “greed problem” of free market economies. In their view, sellers of goods should not be allowed to raise prices on goods that are in demand. Instead, leftist bureaucrats should set the prices, not the sellers. This has been tried many times. The result is food lines. You can buy food for pennies but you have to wait in line for hours to get it because producers won’t produce much if they can’t make money selling it. Scarce goods in socialistic economies are allocated not by allowing their price to rise so that supplies increase while demand decreases, but by simply allocating them to the people who are willing to stand in line the longest, which does reduce demand but does nothing to increase supply. The leftists running the show aren’t put off by the lines, because they have insider ways of circumventing them.)

We were assured that this inflation would be “transitory.” But it’s proving persistent, at least to everyone but that inflation denier Joe Biden.

The reasons are several. On the demand side, it’s true that the trillions we sent people are largely spent by now, but the mindset we offered them endured. The mindset is that work is disconnected from money. On an emotional level at least, and for some on an analytical level as well, they don’t see a connection between work and money. So they keep spending — they keep demand for goods high.

On the supply side, unemployment rates are back to pre-pandemic levels, but that’s because so many un-working people have simply dropped out. Total employment today is millions fewer than pre-pandemic employment. Of those who have gone back to work, many work less hard, as in the “working from home” scheme. Less work is being performed — so the supply of goods is kept low.

Another sign of this disconnect between work and money is that credit card debt is very high. People have come to believe that they can spend “free money” in the form of credit card debt without working, just as they spent that “free money” the government sent them.

This is not sustainable, of course, which brings up the spiritual aspect.

Having walked away from God, country, work, art, literature, music, and family, the people have nothing but raw and shallow materialism. I would say that buying stuff is what they live for, except “live” is an exaggeration in this context. It’s not living, it’s just what they do with their time. And they don’t see any reason to wait till they earn what they buy. “Earn” is one of those inconvenient discredited racist patriarchal ideas like “merit.” COVID taught them that there’s no tomorrow. So live — or at least buy — today.

This catastrophe is perhaps perceived in some unlikely places. Not in churches insofar as I can tell, nor in philosophy classes, nor online debates, but in . . . the Federal Reserve.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell was slow to see the inflation writing on the wall, was justly criticized for his slowness by the likes of the Wall Street Journal, and is now reclaiming his inflation-fighting honor like an unhorsed knight.

The Fed traditionally fights inflation by reducing demand by raising interest rates. When it costs more to borrow money, the theory goes, people will borrow less of it and so they’ll buy fewer goods, and so the balance will return to demand and supply.

Powell is certainly raising rates, but he’s focusing on something else too. He’s also focusing on employment. The Fed now candidly wants to see unemployment go up, not down, even though part of their assigned mission is to ensure full employment (whatever that means). Increasing unemployment would suggest that those millions who dropped out of the labor market are coming back and finally seeking jobs. It would suggest a renewed awareness between what you make and what you spend. It would add to supply in order to help meet demand.

And it would also alleviate wage pressures which are contributing to inflation. Wage gains are very high right now because companies are having to bribe workers into working. That sounds like a good thing, but in an inflationary economy it isn’t. Because the wage hikes themselves contribute to inflation — companies pass their wage costs along to consumers in the form of higher prices, just as they pass their other costs — and because even escalating wages get outpaced by inflation. The real inflation-adjusted wages of American workers in this bout of inflation are lower than they were a year ago.

Enough already. My 401(k) is suffering and, whether they know it or not, the happiness of the voluntarily unemployed is suffering as well. Watching television in your pajamas is not the path to enlightenment. The Fed is saying and I am saying “Get the hell back to work!”

The Aspen Beat has over 800,000 readers now. Join them with a free subscription HERE or by simply sending an email the theAspenbeat@gmail.com


r




I’m a conservative Christian from Colorado Springs and I didn’t kill anyone

A gunman entered a gay nightclub – or I guess they call them LGBTQ nightclubs now – in Colorado Springs last weekend and opened fire. Five people were killed and 18 were injured. He was finally stopped when a former army soldier pounced on him, kicked his gun away, and pinned him to the floor.

Then Democrats pounced. Not on the gunman, but on Colorado Springs. The New York Times declared that Colorado Springs:

“was known for years as the Vatican of Evangelicals — a home base for a well-funded, well-organized conservative Christian political movement that broadcast dire warnings about the dangers of homosexuality to the nation.”

Other liberal media outlets and prominent Dems piled on, including NBC, Daily Kos and, naturally, Nancy Pelosi.

Continue reading

These Nuts Are Making Me Thirsty – Again!

By Ron Kokish

The current fight between liberals and conservatives goes back to at least the
1640s when Levellers and Diggers unsuccessfully tried pushing Parliamentarians
(who were fighting Royalists) towards policies we now call Communism. Though
conservatives easily won that particular day, socialism remains popular in
Western Democracies, particularly during hard times. In the USA our most
dramatic swing leftward occurred during the great depression when Capitalism
staved off the most radical socialist ideas with compromise social programs
collectively known as The New Deal. Here’s an oversimplified version of what
happened.

Continue reading

The GOP odds of winning the House as of this morning are 99.97%

The GOP performance in the midterm elections is very disappointing, but here’s some good news. It would take a miracle for the Democrats to retain the House of Representatives. Let’s do the math.

According to Wall Street Journal and other credible sites, the GOP has won about 211 seats and the Dems have won 192. That means about 32 seats are still undecided. The GOP needs at least 7 of those 32 to reach the bare majority of 218.

It’s fair to assume that the odds on each of those races is about 50/50. If it were otherwise, they’d have been decided. They’re “toss-ups” because the odds are like the odds of getting heads or tails when you toss up a coin.

OK, so let’s run with that. We can calculate the odds of the GOP getting 7 or more of the remaining 32 toss-up seats by calculating the odds of getting 7 or more heads when you toss up a coin 32 times.

Continue reading

Aspen newspapers continue to whitewash or ignore allegation that Boebert’s opponent was blackmailed

A few weeks ago, the Democratic candidate for Colorado’s Third Congressional District was accused of being blackmailed into changing his position on a matter of city policy while he was a city councilman in Aspen. He’s running against conservative firebrand Lauren Boebert, a person the liberal Aspen elite undisguisedly hate and would love to see beaten by Frisch.

The Aspen newspapers – part of that Aspen liberal elite – have mostly dismissed or buried the blackmail story, to the extent they’ve covered it at all. The Aspen Daily News finally published something over a week after the story broke elsewhere:

“The story — which Frisch, his family and his campaign deny — goes something like this: in May 2017, Frisch rode his bike to the storage unit owned by the local taxi company, which was caught on security footage. A staff member of the company subsequently found Frisch engaging in an extramarital activity in one of those units; a year later, when the city council was considering a “mobility lab” that Gardner found threatening to his business, the taxi company owner blackmailed Frisch into changing his vote, swinging the city council away from moving forward with a contract that would have brought rideshare companies such as Lyft more meaningfully to Aspen.”

The blackmail allegation glossed over by the newspaper is that the taxi owner has a video showing everything in the story except the sex in the storage unit; it’s undisputed that he sent that video to Frisch in an email; and the taxi owner himself says “it absolutely was blackmail.” It should be noted, but the newspaper article does not, that the blackmailer is no Boebert supporter — he calls her “clueless.”

Here are some questions that a real newspaper reporter might ask Frisch after his blanket denial:

  • You say you deny the story, but what part?
  • Do you deny that it was you in the video?
  • Do you deny that you waited for the woman in the video and then went into the storage building with her, as the video seems to show?
  • Do you deny having sex with her in the storage unit, as the taxi assistant says she witnessed?
  • Do you deny having received the taxi owner’s email attaching the video in the time frame during which city council was considering the mobility lab?
  • Do you deny that you failed to respond to the video with something like, “Huh? What’s this video?”
  • Do you deny that you failed to contact authorities to report what appeared to be an attempted blackmailing of you, as the taxi owner himself contends?
  • Do you deny that the blackmailing was successful – that the video changed your vote, as the taxi owner contends?

A fair reading is that Frisch implicitly admits the entire story, except the last point: He denies that the attempted blackmailing was successful. Rather, he apparently asserts that he was in the process of changing his mind anyway.

What Frisch is obviously eager to change now is the subject. But a real newspaper with real and unbiased reporters would not be so eager to oblige. A real newspaper with real and unbiased reporters would ask Frisch these questions. If he refuses to answer them, then a real newspaper with real and unbiased reporters would report his refusal.

Alas, apparently no such newspaper and no such reporters exist in Aspen.

“Democracy dies in darkness” – Washington Post

Supreme Court poised to outlaw racial discrimination, again

The Supreme Court on Monday considered the arguments of Harvard and the University of North Carolina justifying their racial discrimination in admissions. The schools will probably lose.

The schools argue their racial discrimination (they refuse to call it that, of course) is just one of many factors they consider in admissions. But the data show it’s by far the most important one. For example, at UNC a white person with a given set of test scores, grade point average and other factors, with 10% chance of getting admitted, would have a 98% chance with the same qualifications if he were black.

At Harvard, the case was brought by an Asian student group. The data show that at Harvard an Asian needs an SAT score about 400 points higher than a black person with comparable other qualifications. That 400-point difference is huge. It’s the difference between an excellent student with a score of 1500 and an average one with a score of 1100, or a good student with a score of 1200 and a poor student with a score of 800.

Continue reading

As I predicted a year ago, the GOP will win about 46 seats in the House

Extrapolating from Glenn Youngkin’s win in the Virginia governor’s race, I predicted a year ago that the GOP would flip about 46 seats in the House in the midterm elections, and two or three in the Senate.

So here we are a year later, on the verge of those midterms. How’s my prediction holding up?

Quite well, thank you. The Real Clear Politics aggregation of pundit predictions says the GOP will pick up between 12 and 47 seats. The first – the 12 seat prediction – is clearly from a transexual-grooming Democrat pot legalization pundit with purple hair who just got canceled a tenth of the $100,000 student loan that THEY took out for THEIR gender studies degree, while the last – the 47 seat prediction – is obviously from someone who thinks clearly but about 2% too optimistically. Probably a Republican.

Continue reading

Aspen newspapers are finally covering blackmail story — with a pillow

As reported in numerous outlets including this site, a man came forward last week alleging that he blackmailed the Democrat candidate challenging conservative firebrand Lauren Boebert for Colorado’s Third Congressional District, while the candidate was a city councilman in Aspen. The two daily newspapers – both overtly liberal – refused to run the story even while numerous citizens brought it to their attention.

The Dem candidate is Adam Frisch, and the Congresswoman he is campaigning to unseat is Lauren Boebert. Frisch presents himself as a high-minded moderate intellectual, but his initial broadcast email drumming up support name-called Boebert, in junior high fashion, “Boebert the Betrayer.” His campaign has gone downhill from there.

Boebert’s district went for Trump by over 9 points in the 2020 election, so Frisch has an uphill battle, which just got steeper.

Continue reading

Aspen newspapers refuse to report blackmail of Democrat running to unseat Lauren Boebert

The story in Glitter Gulch this week is one of blackmail, video cameras, small-time and big-time politics, sex, corruption and, of course, money. But the local newspapers refuse to report the story, apparently because they want a loser to win.

Here’s the story, as reported initially in Breitbart and now picked up by half a dozen outlets.

Democrat Adam Frisch is running to unseat conservative firebrand Lauren Boebert in Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District. Frisch was an Aspen city councilman for eight years, stepping down in 2019. According to an article in the Aspen Times at the time he stepped down, “some constituents thought he oscillated, or that he voted whatever way the political winds were blowing.”

Frisch’s response was “I was being pragmatic and people appreciated that . . . But people saw me making the sausage in my head and thought I was being wishy-washy. … I would’ve been more effective if I talked less.”

One of those constituents has offered an alternative reason for Frisch’s wishy-washy, pragmatic, sausage making. He says he blackmailed Frisch for his, um, oscillating.

Continue reading

Washington Post publishes amid questions about its legitimacy

The Supreme Court’s abortion decision was leaked before being issued, apparently in an effort by the liberal wing of the Court or their clerks to pressure the majority to reverse themselves. The Chief Justice in a rare press release condemned the leak, as did other conservative justices (no liberal justice did) and promised an investigation by law enforcement.

That was five months ago. If the investigation concluded that it’s impossible to identify the leaker, we’re entitled to see the report. If the investigation did successfully identify the leaker, we’re entitled to know who it was.

But we’ve heard crickets. The Chief apparently decided it was more important to just move on than to bring the matter to light. The leak damaged the Court badly enough, he may have concluded, and he doesn’t want to damage it even more by identifying the leaker – something that would cry out for an impeachment of a Supreme Court Justice.

If my theory is correct that the Chief is protecting a liberal Justice of the Court (I doubt he would go to such lengths to protect a mere clerk of a liberal Justice) then a storied institution charged with administering justice at the highest level in the land is consciously shirking its duty to administer justice in its own institution – in the interest, ironically, of preserving its status as an institution of justice.

With this on my mind, a headline in the Washington Post last week caught my eye. In their news pages – not their opinion pages – a story appeared under the headline “Supreme Court term begins amid questions about its legitimacy.”

Ah, I thought, WaPo is exploring this same story that is on my mind – that the Court is covering up the identity of the leaker to avoid a bloody judicial impeachment and Constitutional crisis.

I was wrong. The “legitimacy” issue in the WaPo story was that the Supreme Court had ruffled liberal feathers lately with decisions they don’t like. For example, the Court stated that abortion is not in the Constitution and therefore is not a matter for judges to decide, and that the power of administrative agencies is limited to what Congress delegated to the agency.

Democrats don’t like these decisions, both because they don’t like the particular results and because, more broadly, they don’t like shifting power back to the people. Democrats favor policies that are to the left of the people. They can’t enact such policies democratically because they would get voted out of office, and so they let unelected judges and administrative agency bureaucrats do their dirty work.

Leave it to the Democrats to charge that judges risk their legitimacy not by seizing judicial power, but by relinquishing it to the people and the people’s elected representatives.  

Put this in historical perspective. For two generations, up until a few years ago, the Court was issuing decisions that I didn’t like. For that, however, I never questioned whether the Court was legitimate. I simply questioned whether its decisions were correct.

That’s an important distinction. An incorrect decision still needs to be followed. An illegitimate decision, by implication, need not be. Roe v. Wade was an incorrect decision as a matter of Constitutional law, but conservatives never argued that it cast doubt on the legitimacy of the Supreme Court. They simply argued that it was incorrect, and so should be overturned. In the meantime, it was the criticized but undisputed law of the land.

The left plays by a different set of rules. People who disagree with them are not merely incorrect; they’re deemed illegitimate. If such people are students, they get booted out of school; if they’re parents at school board meetings, they get arrested and investigated by the FBI; if they’re professors, they get fired even if they’re tenured; if they’re opinion columnists like me, they get censored; if they’re speakers, they get shouted down; if they’re politicians, they get name-called “racists,” “deplorables,” and “semi-fascists.”

Nutjobs in the radical left hear these things and conclude, apparently as they are supposed to, that conservatives should be hunted down and eliminated – physically if necessary. Political violence is escalating. Most of it is against conservatives, and it’s rare to hear the left – or even mainstream Democrats – condemn it.

If the persons with whom the left disagrees happen to be Supreme Court Justices, their legitimacy, too, gets questioned – after their homes get marched upon and one of them is the target of an assassination attempt. 

As bad as physical violence and threats are, the deliberate undermining of the authority of the Supreme Court is worse. We are careening over the guardrails and into the day when the left simply announces – in the guise of news stories in prestige newspapers and not just opinion pieces – something like “People question whether Supreme Court rulings should be followed.”

The editors and reporters at WaPo have crossed a line. The line they’ve crossed is not expressing an opinion with which I disagree. They have a right to their opinions, and I’ll fight to preserve their right to express them – even though they conspicuously don’t fight to preserve my right to express mine and in fact do whatever they can to censor mine.

Where WaPo starts to cross the line is where they express their opinion not in their opinion pages where opinions belong, but in their news pages.

And then WaPo gets way over the line with the substance of their opinion-in-the-guise-of-news. The substance of their opinion, expressed as news, is that the Supreme Court is illegitimate simply because the Court is issuing decisions that WaPo doesn’t like.

So, remind me: Who’s the threat to democracy?

Glenn K. Beaton practiced law in the federal courts, including the Supreme Court.