I’m continuing to work my way through this stack of financial crisis books. Some of them do have sound advice or insights, but are filled with wrong-headed notions.
Some of them predict, correctly in my view, that the U.S. will use the financial crisis as an excuse to expand government programs and regulations, another “New Deal”. Unlike me, many of them look forward to this with relish, and they actually seem unaware that the original New Deal and Square Deal were not only very damaging to our economy, but still cripple it today.
Some of them refer to our transition from an industrial to a service economy as if this were a natural process, rather than something we caused to happen. It isn’t. Many people blame feminism for the change, but while feminists did benefit from an economy that provided more jobs that involve talking to people and filling out papers than doing unpleasant manual labor – that is, jobs that call for feminine rather than masculine aptitudes – it isn’t their fault the change happened. The real culprit was ever-increasing government regulation. This raises the cost of production and the risk of legal trouble unacceptably. It’s only to be expected that companies will move their manufacturing to foreign countries with no labor laws to speak of. (That’s right, Democrats: your constant efforts to strangle industry here at home leads to the inhumane exploitation of laborers in the Third World.) This isn’t only the thought of Americans who manufacture things overseas. Foreign companies can also produce cheaper goods in their sweatshops, and domestic companies using expensive, highly litigious American workers couldn’t compete. Once, after reading a horrifying article about conditions in Chinese labor camps, I tried for a few weeks not to buy anything that was made in China. I was forced to give up the effort, because it was damn near impossible. I would need to buy a simple item, say a new wallet, and literally would not be able to find any that wasn’t made in China… except for expensive ones made in places like Italy, which I couldn’t possibly afford.
(This, by the way, is one more reason to buy aesthetically pleasing antiques instead of the hideous things manufactured nowadays, though it was a couple of years more before I thought of that.)
These books keep discussing the demographic crisis in America and Europe, but their proposed solutions are completely off the mark. They blithely suggest we increase immigration from the Third World even more, as if all workers were interchangeable. They are so terrified of being seen as racist that they dare not even think that, never mind involving genetics, but background makes a vital difference. Europeans and their American descendants spent centuries developing the values and habits of thought and customs that made the Renaissance and the Industrial Revolution possible. These cannot be replaced simply by crossing the Rio Grande. The contribution parents make is subtle and important. The profit motive by itself will not make a good worker, let alone an innovator. A major factor is the attitude towards life we pick up from our parents, the assumptions they operate on and implicitly impart to us, the demands they make upon us, the behavior we observe in them, the stories they read us before bedtime. Notice that those black Americans who have not chosen a life of crime or welfare are some of the most hard-working, family-oriented, honest people in this country. Despite their unpleasant introduction to this country, they have had enough generations to acquire the good aspects of its culture. Importing a lot of South Americans or Arabs is simply not going to give us a workforce comparable to what we could produce ourselves.
Their other big suggestion is to raise taxes even more, to pay for government-subsidized child care. The damage we will see after a couple of decades of our children being cared for and raised by adults who are indifferent to them does not figure into their calculations; they probably believe that babysitters are just as interchangeable as laborers. None of them so far have suggested lowering taxes enough that more women can stay home and take care of their own children, which would certainly increase the birthrate. Indeed, one of them said that to weather the current crisis, Hispanic and Muslim countries need to overcome their “outmoded” gender roles.
I have to wonder if the author is truly unaware of how disastrous doing away with “outmoded” gender roles has been here in the West. There’s the terrible effect upon children, for one thing. And another of my pet obsessions, which I shall post about in detail at some point: health. Most of the health problems that are on the increase in America and Europe are caused by poor nutrition, which is caused by living on fast food or processed premade foods that only need to be heated up. A working mother does not have time or energy to cook healthy food for her family or herself after spending all day in the office or store and then trying to spend some time with her children and have a little fun before collapsing into bed. This keeps the dentists and the heart specialists and the diet hucksters in business, but at what cost? In personal happiness and in productivity?
There’s something else, which few authors would dare to mention, and that is that women are, by and large, a liability in the workplace. Before feminism, employers didn’t have to employ women if they didn’t feel like it, and couldn’t be sued for refusing to do so. If they did hire a woman and found she couldn’t do the job, they could fire her without worrying about being dragged into court.
To be blunt, every workplace has women who don’t pull their weight. They wouldn’t be there at all if they couldn’t sue companies into hiring them. Nature gives women a natural inclination to induce other people to do work for them. This is useful for getting men to provide for her when she’s pregnant or has small children, but in a modern workplace, it’s a nuisance. Perhaps ironically, the women who actually do have a strong work ethic, who actually can do their jobs and do so, are almost always the most patriarchal of women, women who have internalized the codes of Judeo-Christian religion and Hellenistic humanism and capitalism. Feminists have deliberately cast off and rejected all of these codes as much as is in their power, but instead of making them into the enlightened higher beings they expected, it sends them back to the base instincts we share with lower animals. Most of the women who are useful in a workplace have the sensible values that will make them quit when they have their first baby. Meanwhile, companies make sure to employ some women, even give them promotions, knowing full well that most of them aren’t doing their jobs, but their salaries are cheaper than sex discrimination lawsuits and the attendant bad publicity. Most female executives and supervisors are there solely as insurance against litigation. This is the great achievement of feminism!
Employing large numbers of people who either can’t or won’t do their jobs is all very well when the economy’s healthy. Now that it isn’t, can we really afford to keep forcing workplaces to employ women? Keeping offices and factories stocked with a quota of females is going to become too expensive.
A large part of the cause of our financial crisis was Political Correctness. Someone has to actually do the work that we’re paying incompetent feminists to pretend to do. Someone has to pay the taxes for welfare. Someone has to pay for the prisons to lock up the felons bred by fatherless homes. We aren’t even supposed to mention these things, because pointing them out is “prejudiced”. But not mentioning them doesn’t change the fact that someone has to do the work and pay the bills.
These authors are mostly blithely unaware that Political Correctness is a luxury we cannot afford for very much longer.