The Civil Wars

This week on America’s Most Beloved Podcast®, we meditate on the idea that Millennials (including one who was recently elected to Congress) feel as though they have never experienced American prosperity. Really. Then, the great Victor Davis Hanson joins to discuss his new book, The Case For Trump, and gets on a certain podcast host’s case for not…well, just listen. Finally, we call on Electoral College expert Tara Ross to explain why Senator Elizabeth Warren has no idea what she is talking about (it’s a 10 second long segment — KIDDING). Finally, we predict what the Mueller Report contains. Please leave your predictions in the comments below.

Note: the Lileks column that Rob referenced in the podcast is here.

Music from this week’s podcast: The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down (from the soundtrack to The Last Waltz) by The Band

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There are 97 comments.

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  1. Richard O'Shea Coolidge

    This may be the best photoshop yet.

    • #1
    • March 22, 2019, at 3:24 PM PST
    • 8 likes
  2. Richard O'Shea Coolidge
    • #2
    • March 22, 2019, at 3:25 PM PST
    • Like
  3. GlennAmurgis Coolidge

    Looks like someone let their Harry’s shave club membership expire

    • #3
    • March 22, 2019, at 3:30 PM PST
    • 18 likes
  4. Kephalithos Member

    Our civilization has an autoimmune disease, and Millennials are its IgE antibodies.

    • #4
    • March 22, 2019, at 3:48 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  5. Brent Chambers Member

    That’s what I look for in podcasters – great facial hair!

    • #5
    • March 22, 2019, at 3:57 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  6. Joseph Eagar Member

    A lot of Millennials haven’t experienced American prosperity, not as adults. Why do you think 90s nostalgia is so popular? Until Trump took office hard work just didn’t pay off for most Millennials. This is what happens when one has a cheap labor policy for two decades: a rigid class system evolves, the young are screwed, and eventually corporate profits themselves will collapse as labor deflation drags down global demand and trade. Libertarians say we need open borders and free trade to be free as individuals, but history says otherwise.

    It’s like the damn gold standard. The Bretton Woods system took a great deal of government intervention to sustain, so much so that western elites in the 70s started talking about a global government that would harmonize national regulatory systems (this is what ultimately evolved into the EU). But in the U.S. Milton Friedman had a great flash of insight: all of these interventions could be done away with if the government was simply allowed to control the money supply. One single market intervention replaced hundreds of others–U.S. currency reform in the 70s and 80s is what made economic deregulation possible.

    It’s the same with borders. A world without borders leads to a lot more regulation, from rigid class systems rooted in public law to petty speech codes to bloated welfare systems. None of this is necessary if we just let the government control migration and trade. We can replace hundreds of regulations, from rent control to occupational licensing requirements to speech codes, with just two: regulation of immigration, and regulation of trade.

    • #6
    • March 22, 2019, at 4:28 PM PST
    • 1 like
  7. Joseph Eagar Member

    By the way, I don’t want to hear about the 70s from Boomers. Ever again. For heaven’s sake, the government created 10% inflation to get all of you employed–the men, the women, black people. Getting your generation into the labor force is what caused inflation in the 70s; you can’t integrate that many young workers without a fall in wages, and the government made that happen via inflation.

    Please, spare me the stories of how hard things were in the 70s.

    • #7
    • March 22, 2019, at 4:37 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  8. DrewInWisconsin, Type Monkey Member

    Richard O'Shea (View Comment):

    Best photoshop yet.

    Inasmuch as it makes Peter look almost exactly like Gavin McInnes.

    Related image

    • #8
    • March 22, 2019, at 4:37 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  9. Joseph Eagar Member

    This is why young people in aging societies end up leaving. No generation has been more selfish, more greedy than the Boomers. To this very day the laziest generation are the Boomers; their parents and their children both work harder than they do (Gallup has done studies on this). The Boomers are infamously the best educated but least hard working generation.

    We’ve had exactly one year of a prosperous economy, after more than ten years of an economy that just didn’t reward hard work. Millennials are going to be complaining about that for a long, long time. That’s the price the Boomers will have to pay for stealing so much wealth via their control over government institutions (e.g. zoning regulations), and in general making the economy suck for so long.

    • #9
    • March 22, 2019, at 4:51 PM PST
    • 1 like
  10. Belt Member

    Pizza Ranch! HQ is in my home town. It’s a great value. Not that I would eat there every day, but every week or two, sure.

    • #10
    • March 22, 2019, at 5:05 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  11. EJHill Podcaster

    Dearest Martha,

    General Yeti is relentless. We have marched up the coast from Ojai to Palo Alto to take on the enemy at Robinson’s Ridge. And just this morning we have received word that Colonel Yoo has been lost behind the enemy lines at Berkeley. Colonel Epstein is said to be in negotiations for his release but we are hearing that the talks have been pretty one sided.

    We had a fine rain last night. Although we are always in desperate need of it, my oil cloth tent leaks and water threatens the photoshopping. The General says we need to be ready at all times as the 69th Antifa Regiment is reported to have been seen marching south from Portlandia last week.

    The camp is rife with rumors. We don’t know what to make of most of them. The latest is an incredible story that the Resistance leader, Robert “The Mad Russian” Mueller has been thrown for a loss across the Potomac River. Surely when historians sort this out it will go down as being known as a time of March Madness.

    I miss you and the children dearly. If you get the chance send more hardtack and whiskey.

    Yours,

    EJ

    • #11
    • March 22, 2019, at 6:11 PM PST
    • 27 likes
  12. Petty Boozswha Member

    I was so glad to hear Mr. Hanson say that he did not choose the title to the book, and that he wanted it to be The Case for the Anti-Anti-Trumpers.

    • #12
    • March 22, 2019, at 6:32 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  13. James Lileks Contributor

    Joseph Eagar (View Comment):

    Please, spare me the stories of how hard things were in the 70s.

    Well, we weren’t rolling hobos for loose tobacco or eating muskrats cooked over trash-can fires, but it was a long, lousy patch of malaise, stagnation, decline, and weariness. Plus ecological scare-talk that equalled today’s jeremiads. It’s an instructive period. They all are, but if you uninterested in the cultural as well as the economic history, that’s your privilege. 

    • #13
    • March 22, 2019, at 6:38 PM PST
    • 24 likes
  14. Miffed White Male Member

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    Joseph Eagar (View Comment):

    Please, spare me the stories of how hard things were in the 70s.

    Well, we weren’t rolling hobos for loose tobacco or eating muskrats cooked over trash-can fires, but it was a long, lousy patch of malaise, stagnation, decline, and weariness. Plus ecological scare-talk that equalled today’s jeremiads. It’s an instructive period. They all are, but if you uninterested in the cultural as well as the economic history, that’s your privilege.

    Joseph, please spre is the stories of how hard things have been for the younger generation. Some of us were around to experience both the 1970s and early 1980s, and the Great Recession. And by the way, The unemployment rate was higher in late 1982 than it was at the peak of the Great Recession.

    • #14
    • March 22, 2019, at 6:47 PM PST
    • 8 likes
  15. Icarus213 Thatcher

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    Joseph Eagar (View Comment):

    Please, spare me the stories of how hard things were in the 70s.

    Well, we weren’t rolling hobos for loose tobacco or eating muskrats cooked over trash-can fires, but it was a long, lousy patch of malaise, stagnation, decline, and weariness. Plus ecological scare-talk that equalled today’s jeremiads. It’s an instructive period. They all are, but if you uninterested in the cultural as well as the economic history, that’s your privilege.

    Joseph, please spre is the stories of how hard things have been for the younger generation. Some of us were around to experience both the 1970s and early 1980s, and the Great Recession. And by the way, The unemployment rate was higher in late 1982 than it was at the peak of the Great Recession.

     

    Miffed White Male, please spare me the stories of how bad the 1980’s were. I was unemployed from 2009-2010, and had to split rent with not one, but TWO roommates. My anger at the older generations has yet to subside, and I doubt it ever will.

     

    • #15
    • March 22, 2019, at 7:49 PM PST
    • 1 like
  16. Lois Lane Coolidge

    I like the end version of the song played here that I’ve only heard Joan Baez sing in the past. Who is the guy/band at the close of the podcast?

    • #16
    • March 22, 2019, at 8:21 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  17. Blue Yeti Admin

    Lois Lane (View Comment):

    I like the end version of the song played here that I’ve only heard Joan Baez sing in the past. Who is the guy/band at the close of the podcast?

    It’s The Band from The Last Waltz, the classic film of their last performance (directed by Martin Scorsese). If you’ve never seen it, you’re in for a treat. Highly recommended. That’s Levon Helm on the drums and lead vocals.

    • #17
    • March 22, 2019, at 8:39 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  18. James Lileks Contributor

    As for the lazy Boomers, that’s a big and ungainly subject. Early Boomers are different than late Boomers – I’m from the latter category, and share nothing with the first wave. My late Boomer friends had some hard patches in the Obama years, and if you think it’s bad to be young and struggling with debt and high housing prices, try it when you’re in your early 50s with a mortgage and kids about to go to college and a job climate that doesn’t want to hire Olds because they cost too much.

    In the case of one of my friends, his Millennial kids are employed and doing fine, because one decided to be an accountant, and the other went into engineering. If it hadn’t worked out here in the Cities, they could have lit out for the territories, because you have to try very hard not to get a job in North Dakota, and you can live quite well. But that option apparently is off the table for a lot of young people. 

    • #18
    • March 22, 2019, at 9:00 PM PST
    • 17 likes
  19. EJHill Podcaster

    VDH is my spirit animal.

    • #19
    • March 22, 2019, at 9:15 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  20. Joseph Eagar Member

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    Joseph Eagar (View Comment):

    Please, spare me the stories of how hard things were in the 70s.

    Joseph, please spre is the stories of how hard things have been for the younger generation. Some of us were around to experience both the 1970s and early 1980s, and the Great Recession. And by the way, The unemployment rate was higher in late 1982 than it was at the peak of the Great Recession.

    Yes the unemployment rate was higher, but it also declined quite a bit faster. That does make a big difference.

    • #20
    • March 22, 2019, at 10:23 PM PST
    • 1 like
  21. John Russell Thatcher

    At time stamp 24:07 Victor Davis Hanson says, by way of peroration:

    People, for some reason, they wanted chemotherapy to kill the perceived cancer even if it made them a little bit sick.

    This is the most compelling metaphor I have heard (or read) for the decision to vote for Trump in 2016.

    • #21
    • March 22, 2019, at 10:37 PM PST
    • 9 likes
  22. kedavis Member

    John Russell (View Comment):

    At time stamp 24:07 Victor Davis Hanson says, by way of peroration:

    People, for some reason, they wanted chemotherapy to kill the perceived cancer even if it made them a little bit sick.

    This is the most compelling metaphor I have heard (or read) for the decision to vote for Trump in 2016.

    I guess that makes Jonah Goldberg and others, into anti-vaxxers?

    • #22
    • March 22, 2019, at 10:49 PM PST
    • 8 likes
  23. Joseph Eagar Member

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    Joseph Eagar (View Comment):

    Please, spare me the stories of how hard things were in the 70s.

    Well, we weren’t rolling hobos for loose tobacco or eating muskrats cooked over trash-can fires, but it was a long, lousy patch of malaise, stagnation, decline, and weariness. Plus ecological scare-talk that equalled today’s jeremiads. It’s an instructive period. They all are, but if you uninterested in the cultural as well as the economic history, that’s your privilege.

    The difference is that your parents were dedicated to making sure all of their Boomer children got into the labor force. There’s a practical reason for this: demographic bulges often lead to spikes in violence (as happened in this case), which can be a pretty big incentive for society to pursue full employment policies. Large cohorts of young men will destabilize any society if they don’t have jobs.

    This is opposed to today’s elites, who almost brag about how many millions of people are going to lose their jobs over the next ten years and how little hope nonelites have to join or stay in the middle class. Oh and no one gets to object to immigration because the Boomers are entitled to their comfy retirements, retirements many of them have not earned. Boomers have neither saved enough, paid enough into entitlements or have had enough children to have earned the retirements most of them feel entitled to, and so they want to import huge cohorts of foreigners to bail them out. Meanwhile us younger generations can look forward to ever-worsening ethnic conflict for the foreseeable future.

    • #23
    • March 22, 2019, at 10:59 PM PST
    • Like
  24. James Lileks Contributor

    Joseph Eagar (View Comment):
    The difference is that your parents were dedicated to making sure all of their Boomer children got into the labor force. There’s a practical reason for this: demographic bulges often lead to spikes in violence (as happened in this case), which can be a pretty big incentive for society to pursue full employment policies. Large cohorts of young men will destabilize any society if they don’t have jobs.

    I assure you our parents wanted us to work because work was what one did, and they paid no thought to the sociopolitical impact of roaming dissatisfied demographic bulges. I’m not saying that large amounts of males disaffected from productive employment don’t turn raw, but there’s no societal consensus that attempts to forestall this in advance. 

    This is opposed to today’s elites, who almost brag about how many millions of people are going to lose their jobs over the next ten years and how little hope nonelites have to join or stay in the middle class. 

    So what these elites almost brag determines one’s future entirely? Individuals have no power or agency? Marx was right: we’re pawns.

    Oh and no one gets to object to immigration because the Boomers are entitled to their comfy retirements, retirements many of them have not earned. Boomers have neither saved enough, paid enough into entitlements or have had enough children to have earned the retirements most of them feel entitled to, and so they want to import huge cohorts of foreigners to bail them out.

    I think you’re conflating a sliver of vacuous, self-serving Boomer-generation politicians who reflexively barf transnational tropes with the entire demographic bulge. It may be satisfying to believe that 70 year old Summer-of-Love veterans sit around thinking “I didn’t save for my retirement, so I hope there’s amnesty so the previously illegal immigrants start paying into the Social Security system to keep it afloat,” but that’s giving them too much credit.

    Meanwhile us younger generations can look forward to ever-worsening ethnic conflict for the foreseeable future.

    “Look forward” in the sense of “Can’t wait”? Because that would be liberating and clarifying? 

    • #24
    • March 23, 2019, at 12:18 AM PST
    • 9 likes
  25. GLDIII Temporarily Essential Thatcher

    Well Joseph, here is someone other than an early or late boomer to argue against your point as to how miserable those millennials have.

    I think David is a Gen X’er so that might not be young enough to sympathize with your views.

    If you are lucky, you to will grow old enough to realize how good you had it in the good old days.

    • #25
    • March 23, 2019, at 5:29 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  26. Jim Beck Member

    Morning Joseph,

    Born in 1947, I guess that makes me an early boomer. I agree that the early boomers were the most destructive generation with which I am familiar, maybe the Bloomsbury folks in England were our equal or worse. We were successful at cowing our parents, we successfully stripped them of moral authority by leveraging the war and race against them. With equal parts of ignorance and a self righteousness which even to day is still strong, we because of our number and the reluctance of the WWII parents to resist our moralizing, had a greater impact on everything government policy, university policy, sexual behavior, drug behavior, down to respect for elders, than we should have had, it was horrible and still is. I wouldn’t say lazy is accurate, we were ambitious for our view of an idealized world. James is also right, for most folks, they are not thinking about how to keep the cost of nannies down via illegals immigration, most boomers don’t have nannies, and if they are anti wall it is because they are still virtue signaling. Our part of the boomer generation mocked our parents, well, they were over thirty, we mocked their straight laced values, they did not know what was “truly” valuable. I wish we had not set this cascade of events in motion, we were too ignorant to know the consequences and now we blind ourselves to our past foolishness. Many of the current voices remind me of what was horrible about my generation.

    • #26
    • March 23, 2019, at 7:00 AM PST
    • 8 likes
  27. EtCarter Listener

    “Most Beloved”. O Captain, my Captain… lol We love you this podcast plenty.

    • #27
    • March 23, 2019, at 8:58 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  28. Miffed White Male Member

    Joseph Eagar (View Comment):

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    Joseph Eagar (View Comment):

    Please, spare me the stories of how hard things were in the 70s.

    Joseph, please spre is the stories of how hard things have been for the younger generation. Some of us were around to experience both the 1970s and early 1980s, and the Great Recession. And by the way, The unemployment rate was higher in late 1982 than it was at the peak of the Great Recession.

    Yes the unemployment rate was higher, but it also declined quite a bit faster. That does make a big difference.

    That’s because the boomers were smart enough to vote for Reagan, who knew how to unleash an economy. The x ers and millennials voted for Obama, who only knew how to smother the economy. 

    • #28
    • March 23, 2019, at 9:13 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  29. Miffed White Male Member

    Icarus213 (View Comment):

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    Joseph Eagar (View Comment):

    Please, spare me the stories of how hard things were in the 70s.

    Well, we weren’t rolling hobos for loose tobacco or eating muskrats cooked over trash-can fires, but it was a long, lousy patch of malaise, stagnation, decline, and weariness. Plus ecological scare-talk that equalled today’s jeremiads. It’s an instructive period. They all are, but if you uninterested in the cultural as well as the economic history, that’s your privilege.

    Joseph, please spre is the stories of how hard things have been for the younger generation. Some of us were around to experience both the 1970s and early 1980s, and the Great Recession. And by the way, The unemployment rate was higher in late 1982 than it was at the peak of the Great Recession.

     

    Miffed White Male, please spare me the stories of how bad the 1980’s were. I was unemployed from 2009-2010, and had to split rent with not one, but TWO roommates. My anger at the older generations has yet to subside, and I doubt it ever will.

    Roommates?! The horror…some of us had them while employed in order to help make ends meet. Not sure why it should engender anger at another generation. 

    • #29
    • March 23, 2019, at 9:24 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  30. DrewInWisconsin, Type Monkey Member

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    Roommates?! The horror…

    some of us had them while employed in order to help make ends meet. Not sure why it should engender anger at another generation

    Yeah, um . . . I had roommates into my early 30s. (And so did my roommates.) Great way to save money, split costs, and make sure that if you die someone finds your cold, stiff body before the stank gets too bad.

    • #30
    • March 23, 2019, at 9:27 AM PST
    • 10 likes
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