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. JimGoneWild Coolidge
    JimGoneWild
    @JimGoneWild

    I love the graphic. 

    • #31
  2. Repmodad Inactive
    Repmodad
    @Repmodad

    I stopped the podcast in the middle to check the show notes for the promised link to @jameslileks‘ brilliant piece about The Olive Garden, which I’ve never read. It’s not there (that I see). (Sure, I could Google it, but I’m trying to be a more active Ricochet member.)

    • #32
  3. Blue Yeti Admin
    Blue Yeti
    @BlueYeti

    Repmodad (View Comment):

    I stopped the podcast in the middle to check the show notes for the promised link to @jameslileks‘ brilliant piece about The Olive Garden, which I’ve never read. It’s not there (that I see). (Sure, I could Google it, but I’m trying to be a more active Ricochet member.)

    Apologies, forgot about this as the Mueller Report broke just we were finishing the show yesterday. Here it is:

    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/637482/posts

    • #33
  4. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Preach it, Brother Lileks! 10/10, even from the East German judge.

    • #34
  5. Freesmith Inactive
    Freesmith
    @Freesmith

    @jimbeck 

    I agree with you, but I’ll add one mitigating factor, which is from the time we came of age we were constantly told how great, how brilliant and how full of fabulous potential we were. 

    Recall the Time Magazine cover for Man of the Year — the Generation under 25.

    We came to believe it. 

    • #35
  6. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    I’ve never eaten at a Pizza Ranch, but if Mr. Nolan had really spent any time here in Iowa before the election, he might have been more profitably enlightened by what he no longer sees. “Going Out of Business” signs have been replaced by “Opening Soon” and the ever-popular “Now Hiring.” The “For Sale” signs still appear, of course, but the “Sold” signs follow in short order. The folks buying gold have moved on. 

    Maybe Mr. Nolan should take stock of his prospects. Maybe he should learn to code. Python is hot right now.

    • #36
  7. DJ EJ Member
    DJ EJ
    @DJEJ

    There appears to be only one Pizza Ranch location in all of Arkansas (in Conway near Little Rock). That’s too bad as the long-running joke in Fayetteville and the University of Arkansas is that ranch dressing is called “sorority sauce”, because they use it as a condiment on everything, especially pizza. A Pizza Ranch location would do quite well there, as long as they didn’t run out of sorority sauce.

    This is my favorite podcast photoshop graphic yet. Those are some great Ambrose burnsides/sideburns.

    • #37
  8. Jon1979 Inactive
    Jon1979
    @Jon1979

    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 goes to the fact that Carter was thrown out of the White House after only one term, while Obama was re-elected in 2012 and continued the same policies that had stifled the recovery over the previous 30 months. Millennial voters who complain about the pain of the downturn yet voted for Obama over Romney have no one to blame but themselves for their ongoing limited access to improved quality of life, because they put virtue signaling over that when they marked their ballot.

    The fact that enough Boomers by 1980 had either come to their senses politically, or late-generation Boomers had reached voting age and rejected the politics of the first wave Boomers of the late 1960s shouldn’t be held against them. Their downturn was shorter because enough of them and the generations of people before them voted for a guy who did the things to end the downturn. Too many millennials did not, and if they have their way in 2020, will go right back to the policies that kept their from seeing their quality of life improve in the first place.

    • #38
  9. Repmodad Inactive
    Repmodad
    @Repmodad

    Blue Yeti (View Comment):

    Repmodad (View Comment):

    I stopped the podcast in the middle to check the show notes for the promised link to @jameslileks‘ brilliant piece about The Olive Garden, which I’ve never read. It’s not there (that I see). (Sure, I could Google it, but I’m trying to be a more active Ricochet member.)

    Apologies, forgot about this as the Mueller Report broke just we were finishing the show yesterday. Here it is:

    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/637482/posts

    Thank you, @blueyeti. Well worth the effort (even though it was your effort, not mine). It was as good as advertised.

    • #39
  10. SParker Member
    SParker
    @SParker

    James Lileks (View Comment):
    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.

    Speak for yourself concerning hobos and trash-can-roasted muskrat–it gave you something to do while waiting in line for gas–but +1.  If you were young and employed, times were just fine so long as you remembered never, ever to save anything*.  Anyone without hard assets or a time machine could be forgiven for morosely thinking “can’t anyone here play this game,” “anyone” defined as policy experts extolling the benefits of a devalued dollar.  As in “hey, we just cut the value of your cash and bonds down to size for you, you stupid, thrifty, old Gloomy Gusses, be of good cheer.”

    Interesting we no longer remember that some seeds of mood improvement were planted by the uninspiring, but wrongly reviled, President Carter (Volcker appointment,  the start of deregulation, and even the military buildup).

     

    *Inflation has an effect on real wages other than zip?

    • #40
  11. James Lileks Contributor
    James Lileks
    @jameslileks

    SParker (View Comment):
    If you were young and employed, times were just fine so long as you remembered never, ever to save anything*.

    Or tried to buy a house. I have sympathy for people who live in places where the cost of housing is insane – because of capitalism, of course – but just wrap your brain around a 16% mortgage rate. 

    • #41
  12. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    Belt (View Comment):

    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.

    I don’t like pizza. I would not eat at Pizza Ranch. But you are different than me so I trust you to figure out where to eat. I would like you to give me the same courtesy and we can live different lives and respect one another’s choices even if we don’t agree with them.

    Why can’t other people get that? Why is the Left (now) always trying to limit the choices of people who ‘make the wrong choices’?

    • #42
  13. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    Percival (View Comment):

    I’ve never eaten at a Pizza Ranch, but if Mr. Nolan had really spent any time here in Iowa before the election, he might have been more profitably enlightened by what he no longer sees. “Going Out of Business” signs have been replaced by “Opening Soon” and the ever-popular “Now Hiring.” The “For Sale” signs still appear, of course, but the “Sold” signs follow in short order. The folks buying gold have moved on.

    Maybe Mr. Nolan should take stock of his prospects. Maybe he should learn to code. Python is hot right now.

    I went to a music festival in downtown Boise yesterday. The now hiring signs are littered absolutely everywhere. 

    • #43
  14. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    @blueyeti what happened to #437?  It seems to have disappeared.

    • #44
  15. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    deleted

    • #45
  16. Podkayne of Israel Member
    Podkayne of Israel
    @PodkayneofIsrael

    Those of us who grew up with parents who scrimped and struggled to survive the Great Depression, let alone those stalwart survivors themselves, find it difficult to listen to the kvetching Millenials.

    And compared to my Russian friends who lived through the Great Patriotic War, our experiences were a giggle. 

    • #46
  17. Taras Coolidge
    Taras
    @Taras

    Joseph Eagar (View Comment):

    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.

     When I was taking economics 101 in the early 1970s, we learned about the Phillips Curve.  This was a law of economics discovered by Keynesian/liberal economists which said that inflation and unemployment were inversely related, so that the wise men of the government needed merely to turn the dial of inflation to control the unemployment rate.  

    Meanwhile, real economists like Milton Friedman and Murray Rothbard pointed out that this works only so long as people don’t catch on that, say, a 5% raise under 10% inflation is really a 5%  pay cut.

     By the late 1970s, the Phillips Curve was a joke, and a new word, stagflation, was much heard throughout the land.  Because inflation was very high, but unemployment was very high, too.  Inflation damaged the economy, reducing the supply of jobs.

    • #47
  18. GLDIII Temporarily Essential Reagan
    GLDIII Temporarily Essential
    @GLDIII

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    SParker (View Comment):
    If you were young and employed, times were just fine so long as you remembered never, ever to save anything*.

    Or tried to buy a house. I have sympathy for people who live in places where the cost of housing is insane – because of capitalism, of course – but just wrap your brain around a 16% mortgage rate.

    I did for 3 three years with one later refi to get it down to 12% for another two. We now consider that usuary or “Vinny the Bone” rates.

    • #48
  19. Jon1979 Inactive
    Jon1979
    @Jon1979

    Taras (View Comment):

    Joseph Eagar (View Comment):

    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.

    When I was taking economics 101 in the early 1970s, we learned about the Phillips Curve. This was a law of economics discovered by Keynesian/liberal economists which said that inflation and unemployment were inversely related, so that the wise men of the government needed merely to turn the dial of inflation to control the unemployment rate.

    Meanwhile, real economists like Milton Friedman and Murray Rothbard pointed out that this works only so long as people don’t catch on that, say, a 5% raise under 10% inflation is really a 5% pay cut.

    By the late 1970s, the Phillips Curve was a joke, and a new word, stagflation, was much heard throughout the land. Because inflation was very high, but unemployment was very high, too. Inflation damaged the economy, reducing the supply of jobs.

    I remember in the 1979-80 period the Best and the Brightest being totally gobsmaked by the tandem double-digit rates of unemployment and inflation. They did everything right! This can’t possibly happen! The thing people forget is that within the Democratic Party’s brain trust, they looked at the disconnect and decided the problem was Carter wasn’t liberal enough. That was the whole basis behind Ted Kennedy’s presidential challenge, to get rid of that DINO squish in the White House and get a president who would put real progressive policies in place (i.e.- instead of deregulating oil to lower inflation like Reagan did, Teddy would more likely tried to fix the problem by nationalizing the oil companies).

    • #49
  20. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    Jon1979 (View Comment):
    I remember in the 1979-80 period the Best and the Brightest being totally gobsmaked by the tandem double-digit rates of unemployment and inflation. They did everything right! This can’t possibly happen! The thing people forget is that within the Democratic Party’s brain trust, they looked at the disconnect and decided the problem was Carter wasn’t liberal enough. That was the whole basis behind Ted Kennedy’s presidential challenge, to get rid of that DINO squish in the White House and get a president who would put real progressive policies in place (i.e.- instead of deregulating oil to lower inflation like Reagan did, Teddy would more likely tried to fix the problem by nationalizing the oil companies).

    Central planning is worthless. Don’t central plan anything unless there’s no other option.

    In 1964 LBJ leaned on Arthur Burns, the chairman of the Fed,  to give him guns and butter. Burns and his team knew it was going to end badly and it did.

    The Fed can’t guess the right interest-rate and central planning just makes everything worse 90% of the time. Then they try to fix it by doing more. It’s idiotic.

    Very few in the GOP are sensitive enough about this stuff.

    • #50
  21. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    One more thing about #50. 

    Within eight years after Medicare was invented, both parties recognized it was a fiscal disaster. I think the actuarials were off 100X or something. The CBO was literally created because of that mistake. Medicare never would have passed CBO scrutiny.

    Unless you are fighting an existential war, all of this centralized power just makes everything worse.

    • #51
  22. Jon1979 Inactive
    Jon1979
    @Jon1979

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    One more thing about #50.

    Within eight years after Medicare was invented, both parties recognized it was a fiscal disaster. I think the actuarials were off 100X or something. The CBO was literally created because of that mistake. Medicare never would have passed CBO scrutiny.

    Unless you are fighting an existential war, all of this centralized power just makes everything worse.

    Hence the reason why for so many years, people on the left claimed everything they wanted to do was “The moral equivalent of war” and why many progressives today  get the warm-and-fuzzies thinking about 93 percent tax rates during World War II and a top-down command economy that rationed items and directed others based on where the government determined everything should go.

    The moral equivalent of war” has morphed into Rahm Emanuel’s “Never let a crisis go to waste” over the past two decades, but the same logic applies — everything’s a crisis, and government is the only thing that can save the public from the crisis, through top down planning. The fact there are so many variables within the economy and society in general, and that the Law of Unintended Consequences always seems to foil those types of plans in the past never shakes their confidence — the people in the past simply didn’t do it right, and if their own plans fail, it’s not because they didn’t anticipate the problems with those plans caused by the market, its because evil people opposing them sabotaged those plans (this is usually the point in a government-run system that the government starts removing uncooperative people from within the system, in order to fix the problem. And as things continue not to work, more and more people have to be removed, because the conspiracy was obviously far vaster than they could ever have first imagined).

    • #52
  23. Taras Coolidge
    Taras
    @Taras

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    One more thing about #50.

    Within eight years after Medicare was invented, both parties recognized it was a fiscal disaster. I think the actuarials were off 100X or something. The CBO was literally created because of that mistake. Medicare never would have passed CBO scrutiny.

    Unless you are fighting an existential war, all of this centralized power just makes everything worse.

    Rufus, you underestimate the ingenuity and creativeness of the CBO.  They would have found a way to make Medicare appear fiscally sound, just long enough for it to get through Congress and be signed into law.   As I recall, that’s what happened with Obamacare:  many happy and unrealistic assumptions.

    Recently I read that it turned out Medicare didn’t significantly improve the health of us old folks:  it protected our assets, not our asses!

    • #53
  24. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    Taras (View Comment):
    As I recall, that’s what happened with Obamacare: many happy and unrealistic assumptions.

    Right. That’s exactly right. I think the mole was Peter Orzag. He rigged the whole thing. He has a really sordid ruling class resume too.

    There gets to be so many layers and special interests. What a nightmare. I’m pretty sure Jeb! sucked $2 million out of an insurance company (as a board member) that he knew was going to profit off of Obamacare. He took the money and quit just in time so it wouldn’t be very visible. Something like that. 

    Just to be clear, I’m not against universal coverage, particularly at this point, but all of it has been so poorly thought through it is just staggering. Government started employment based insurance during World War II and they should’ve wiped it out the second we won the war. That is how this mess started.

    • #54
  25. EHerring Coolidge
    EHerring
    @EHerring

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    I’ve never eaten at a Pizza Ranch, but if Mr. Nolan had really spent any time here in Iowa before the election, he might have been more profitably enlightened by what he no longer sees. “Going Out of Business” signs have been replaced by “Opening Soon” and the ever-popular “Now Hiring.” The “For Sale” signs still appear, of course, but the “Sold” signs follow in short order. The folks buying gold have moved on.

    Maybe Mr. Nolan should take stock of his prospects. Maybe he should learn to code. Python is hot right now.

    I went to a music festival in downtown Boise yesterday. The now hiring signs are littered absolutely everywhere.

    Someone told me there are 11 million infilled jobs.

    • #55
  26. EHerring Coolidge
    EHerring
    @EHerring

    I don’t think they are as close to nullifying thenEC as they think. Imagine the motivation Repubs in CA and other blue states will have to vote and the schadenfreude of Colorado giving it’s EC votes to Trump.  Also imagine endless nationwide recounts and the corruption that will ensue when ballot box stuffing is rewarded. I think the EC is the glue holding sovereign states together. 

    • #56
  27. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    EHerring (View Comment):
    Also imagine endless nationwide recounts and the corruption that will ensue when ballot box stuffing is rewarded.

    I don’t remember all of the details, but this is a very big deal. Election security becomes a much bigger problem. Maybe someone else knows about this.

    • #57
  28. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    EHerring (View Comment):
    Also imagine endless nationwide recounts and the corruption that will ensue when ballot box stuffing is rewarded.

    I don’t remember all of the details, but this is a very big deal. Election security becomes a much bigger problem. Maybe someone else knows about this.

    I think the main point is, all ballot stuffing pays off everywhere, which is not the case right now. Madness.

     

    • #58
  29. EHerring Coolidge
    EHerring
    @EHerring

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    EHerring (View Comment):
    Also imagine endless nationwide recounts and the corruption that will ensue when ballot box stuffing is rewarded.

    I don’t remember all of the details, but this is a very big deal. Election security becomes a much bigger problem. Maybe someone else knows about this.

    It is bad enough now but the damage is limited to that state’s electoral votes and local elections. All the fraud in CA doesn’t change the outcome now. A state as corrupt as CA could allow enough corruption to guarantee a Dem win every time.  Under such conditions, there will be nothing in it for red states re preserving a 50 state union. They would be happier with 45 states, the Constitution, and patriotism than with blue state impositions.

    • #59
  30. Duane Oyen Member
    Duane Oyen
    @DuaneOyen

    Where’s the promised link to the Lileks piece?

    • #60
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