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

Subscribe to The Ricochet Podcast in Apple Podcasts (and leave a 5-star review, please!), or by RSS feed. For all our podcasts in one place, subscribe to the Ricochet Audio Network Superfeed in Apple Podcasts or by RSS feed.

Please Support Our Sponsors!

Calm

Capterra

Lending Club

Now become a Ricochet member for only $5.00 a month! Join and see what you’ve been missing.

There are 97 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. Hugh Member
    Hugh
    @Hugh

    EJHill (View Comment):

    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

    “Pretty one sided”  (snort) Ha!  nice one

    • #61
  2. GLDIII Temporarily Essential Reagan
    GLDIII Temporarily Essential
    @GLDIII

    Duane Oyen (View Comment):

    Where’s the promised link to the Lileks piece?

    Yeti was a bit delayed and post it in comment #33

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

    • #62
  3. Taras Coolidge
    Taras
    @Taras

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    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.

     

    In Ukraine, which has no electoral college, the pro-Russia party was strong in the eastern provinces (partly because Stalin killed millions of Ukrainians there and replaced them with Russians).  It was able to leverage its total control of the political system in the east to stuff ballot boxes and win the Presidency.

    In the absence of an Electoral College, this is probably what the Democrats would have done in 1860 to keep Lincoln from being elected.

    • #63
  4. davenr321 Coolidge
    davenr321
    @davenr321

    It sounded like Professor Hanson was talking through some sort of muted instrument. This made it very hard to hear him while driving (road sounds drowned out his words), though the rest of the gang were loud and clear, especially after cranking up the volume very high to hear VDH. Can you folks somehow work it so your guests who maybe are phoning it in or otherwise broadcasting from afar are louder?

    • #64
  5. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    davenr321 (View Comment):

    It sounded like Professor Hanson was talking through some sort of muted instrument. This made it very hard to hear him while driving (road sounds drowned out his words), though the rest of the gang were loud and clear, especially after cranking up the volume very high to hear VDH. Can you folks somehow work it so your guests who maybe are phoning it in or otherwise broadcasting from afar are louder?

    I always have the option switching to earbuds when this happens. It also makes it easier to concentrate on what they’re saying.

    • #65
  6. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    deleted

    Any particular reason why?  I hate when sites do that, especially sites that I’m paying for, even if it is a pittance according to Rob Long.

    • #66
  7. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    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.

    My understanding is that CBO figures, which are bad to start with because they only rely on the numbers given to them by other people with every reason to lie, also only go out a few years.  So even if proposers of legislation know that what they are proposing will be a disaster after X years, if the CBO is only allowed to ‘project” out to X-1 years, they can get away with it.

    • #67
  8. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    kedavis (View Comment):

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    deleted

    Any particular reason why? I hate when sites do that, especially sites that I’m paying for, even if it is a pittance according to Rob Long.

    I meant to put it on a different thread. It actually wasn’t too confusing being here but I deleted it anyway.

    • #68
  9. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    kedavis (View Comment):

    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.

    My understanding is that CBO figures, which are bad to start with because they only rely on the numbers given to them by other people with every reason to lie, also only go out a few years. So even if proposers of legislation know that what they are proposing will be a disaster after X years, if the CBO is only allowed to ‘project” out to X-1 years, they can get away with it.

    I’m arguing with another fellow about this on another thread. All of this stuff is completely out of control, for a variety of reasons. No one ever does anything about it.

    Every single government actuarial system should have forced actuarial stabilizers built in. Why don’t they? 

    Government Is How We Steal From Each Other™

    • #69
  10. Richard Easton Coolidge
    Richard Easton
    @RichardEaston

    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.

    The projections at 25 years were off by a factor of 3 even adjusting for unexpected (that word) inflation.  I knew in 2009-10 that the ObamaCare estimates were similarly off.

    • #70
  11. Richard Easton Coolidge
    Richard Easton
    @RichardEaston

    Rob thinks Trump is icky.  Many of us thought that Obama was icky, yet the chattering classes thought he was great. His campaign tried twice to shut down the Milt Rosenberg Show in 2008.  The FISA and unmasking abuses were not surprising to people who lived in the Chicago area during O’s rise to power.

    • #71
  12. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    By the way, this is just an epic must listen on the intersection of politics, the Fed, global central banks, the financial system, populism, unfunded liabilities  and socialism, debt and so forth. I can’t recommend it enough

    https://mcalvanyweeklycommentary.com/bill-king-hedge-political-turmoil-central-banks-control-revolution/

    I’m always posting videos and articles about this stuff, but if you want to hear it all in one place, this is it.

    • #72
  13. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    By the way, this is just an epic must listen on the intersection of politics, the Fed, global central banks, the financial system, populism, unfunded liabilities and socialism, debt and so forth. I can’t recommend it enough

    https://mcalvanyweeklycommentary.com/bill-king-hedge-political-turmoil-central-banks-control-revolution/

    I’m always posting videos and articles about this stuff, but if you want to hear it all in one place, this is it.

    If you want to know why conservatism and libertarianism doesn’t sell, or if you are unhappy about the GOP not actually being conservative, this is why. I cannot recommend this enough. 

    • #73
  14. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    deleted

    Any particular reason why? I hate when sites do that, especially sites that I’m paying for, even if it is a pittance according to Rob Long.

    I meant to put it on a different thread. It actually wasn’t too confusing being here but I deleted it anyway.

    Oh you misunderstood.  I wasn’t referring to your post.  I was referring to PODCAST #437.  It’s gone.

    • #74
  15. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    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

    What happened to podcast #437?  It’s disappeared.

    • #75
  16. Blue Yeti Admin
    Blue Yeti
    @BlueYeti

    davenr321 (View Comment):

    It sounded like Professor Hanson was talking through some sort of muted instrument. This made it very hard to hear him while driving (road sounds drowned out his words), though the rest of the gang were loud and clear, especially after cranking up the volume very high to hear VDH. Can you folks somehow work it so your guests who maybe are phoning it in or otherwise broadcasting from afar are louder?

    He was on his cell phone from his farm, which is actually better than his landline there (which does not even work most of the time).

    We always struggle with audio with Victor as the technology at his farm in central California is, well, awful. Wish it wasn’t the case but it is what it is. Occasionally, we can grab him when he’s at Hoover (that’s where we do most of his Classicist podcasts), but that did not work out for this show.

    We felt it was better to suffer through a mediocre connection than to wait a few weeks for a better line.

    • #76
  17. Blue Yeti Admin
    Blue Yeti
    @BlueYeti

    kedavis (View Comment):

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    deleted

    Any particular reason why? I hate when sites do that, especially sites that I’m paying for, even if it is a pittance according to Rob Long.

    I meant to put it on a different thread. It actually wasn’t too confusing being here but I deleted it anyway.

    Oh you misunderstood. I wasn’t referring to your post. I was referring to PODCAST #437. It’s gone.

    We were asked to take it down temporarily by one of the guests on that show (see if you can figure out why). It will return soon (we hope).

    • #77
  18. Joseph Eagar Member
    Joseph Eagar
    @JosephEagar

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    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.

    That’s not the point.  When a country’s elites tell a majority of the population they have no future, it’s not exactly a shock when large numbers come to believe it.  And even if people intellectually know they should have the power to control their lives, there’s always that nagging fear that said elites will actively work to thwart them.

    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?

    Of course not.   This isn’t a game.

     

    • #78
  19. Joseph Eagar Member
    Joseph Eagar
    @JosephEagar

    GLDIII Temporarily Essential (View Comment):

    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.

    It is historically unusual for America to experience periods where large numbers of people can’t find a job for four or five years.  It’s unprecedented for that to coincide with an extreme spike in the cost of living where what few jobs exist are.  Not even the Great Depression saw that.

    That article spends a lot of time on how cool recent technological developments are.  I disagree.  We wrung all the productivity gains from IT in the 90s and early 2000s; the advances since then haven’t been nearly as impressive in terms of economic performance.

     

    • #79
  20. Joseph Eagar Member
    Joseph Eagar
    @JosephEagar

    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’m not talking about the Phillips Curve.  Countries use inflation to engineer relative wage adjustments all the time; in fact it’s the primary way by which economies adjust to negative economic shocks.  One of the reasons the U.S. recovered from the recession faster than Europe is that the Fed engineered a slightly-higher inflation rate (relative to Europe) and devalued the dollar, leading to years of falling real wages.  Europe didn’t do that, it tried to physically cut wages instead.  The result was people rioting in the streets and lots of violence.

    The same thing happened in the 70s but at a much bigger scale (back then the Fed engineered quite a bit more than “a slightly-higher” inflation rate).

    • #80
  21. Taras Coolidge
    Taras
    @Taras

    @josepheagar —  Here’s an account of what was going on in the 1970s: 

    The 1970s were a period of both high inflation and high unemployment in the U.S. due to two massive oil supply shocks. The first oil shock was from the 1973 embargo by Middle East energy producers that caused crude oil prices to quadruple in about a year. The second oil shock occurred when the Shah of Iran was overthrown in a revolution and the loss of output from Iran caused crude oil prices to double between 1979 and 1980. This development led to both high unemployment and high inflation. 

    https://www.investopedia.com/articles/markets/081515/how-inflation-and-unemployment-are-related.asp

    In other words, the high inflation wasn’t planned, and it didn’t reduce unemployment.  

    As I recall, it contributed to it.  For example, a business firm that was just breaking even, earning 10% when the inflation rate was 10%, would then have to pay taxes on that phantom 10% profit, putting it in the red.  In the meantime, middle class taxpayers who received raises that were just keeping up with inflation found themselves pushed into ever higher tax brackets. 

    As you would expect, the Democrats loved those automatic tax increases; and Ronald Reagan had quite a fight on his hands to split off enough House Democrats to pass indexing of tax brackets.

    • #81
  22. Joe D. Inactive
    Joe D.
    @JosephDornisch

    Isn’t there supposed to be a promised link to some old James Lileks editorial that made Rob Long a fan in the show notes?

    • #82
  23. Jon1979 Inactive
    Jon1979
    @Jon1979

    Joe D. (View Comment):

    Isn’t there supposed to be a promised link to some old James Lileks editorial that made Rob Long a fan in the show notes?

    http://web.archive.org/web/20030416020456/http:/www.lileks.com/writings/screed/olivegarden.html

    • #83
  24. EB Thatcher
    EB
    @EB

    One little disagreement with VDH: Carter was not basically a decent man.

    I am from Georgia and was there during his time in the state leg, the governorship, his presidential campaign, and his presidency.

    Carter was a liar. He would say anything to get elected. His initial campaign for the leg was as a racist. Several of his most famous claims in his first presidential primary were complete fabrications (not just spin or exaggerations.)  

    And, as we have seen in his post-presidential career, he never met a ruthless dictator he didn’t slop sugar all over.

    • #84
  25. Blue Yeti Admin
    Blue Yeti
    @BlueYeti

    Joe D. (View Comment):

    Isn’t there supposed to be a promised link to some old James Lileks editorial that made Rob Long a fan in the show notes?

    I’ve updated the show description with the link to the Lileks piece.

    • #85
  26. Chris Member
    Chris
    @Chris

    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

    That is one fantastic rant.  Thanks for the link.

    • #86
  27. Joseph Eagar Member
    Joseph Eagar
    @JosephEagar

    Taras (View Comment):

    @josepheagar — Here’s an account of what was going on in the 1970s:

    The 1970s were a period of both high inflation and high unemployment in the U.S. due to two massive oil supply shocks. The first oil shock was from the 1973 embargo by Middle East energy producers that caused crude oil prices to quadruple in about a year. The second oil shock occurred when the Shah of Iran was overthrown in a revolution and the loss of output from Iran caused crude oil prices to double between 1979 and 1980. This development led to both high unemployment and high inflation.

    https://www.investopedia.com/articles/markets/081515/how-inflation-and-unemployment-are-related.asp

    In other words, the high inflation wasn’t planned, and it didn’t reduce unemployment.

    As I recall, it contributed to it. For example, a business firm that was just breaking even, earning 10% when the inflation rate was 10%, would then have to pay taxes on that phantom 10% profit, putting it in the red. In the meantime, middle class taxpayers who received raises that were just keeping up with inflation found themselves pushed into ever higher tax brackets.

    As you would expect, the Democrats loved those automatic tax increases; and Ronald Reagan had quite a fight on his hands to split off enough House Democrats to pass indexing of tax brackets.

    We’ve had oils shocks since then that didn’t do more than cause a temporary blip in the inflation numbers.  The U.S. experienced a wage-price spiral in the 70s; that’s why it took the 1980 recession to break the inflationary psychology.  I’ll grant you that bracket creep was a big deal; at the time a bunch of congressional Democrats believed that fighting inflation with taxes worked better than using the Fed.

     

     

    • #87
  28. spaceman_spiff Member
    spaceman_spiff
    @spacemanspiff

    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.

    Except that did not happen. Everyone didn’t get employed. We had inflation and high unemployment. In 1973 the unemployment rate fell to 4.9 per cent. It wouldn’t be again that low until 1997. It topped out at 10.8% in 1983.

    • #88
  29. Ralphie Inactive
    Ralphie
    @Ralphie

    James Lileks (View Comment):
    but just wrap your brain around a 16% mortgage rate. 

     

    We got  deal at 10.25% in 1978.  And we only had 10% down, so we were high risk.

    Something I think about is that when I was a young adult and moved away from home, I had to write letters, and make long distance phone calls to family.  The ability to instantly contact others rather inexpensively is something I experience as a big improvement over the past.  

    • #89
  30. Richard O'Shea Coolidge
    Richard O'Shea
    @RichardOShea

    Ralphie (View Comment):

    James Lileks (View Comment):
    but just wrap your brain around a 16% mortgage rate.

     

    We got deal at 10.25% in 1978. And we only had 10% down, so we were high risk.

    Something I think about is that when I was a young adult and moved away from home, I had to write letters, and make long distance phone calls to family. The ability to instantly contact others rather inexpensively is something I experience as a big improvement over the past.

    Bought my first home in 1979 – 12.5% as I recall.  Long distance calls had to be scheduled via letter to make sure everyone was home.

    • #90
Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.