Saturday, August 28, 2021

College Ball

There has been an interesting development in college football. This off-season the Big 12 was crippled when Texas and Oklahoma announced they would flee to the SEC. I'll tell you why everyone should have seen this coming... and what the Big 12 should do now.

"This is terrible!!" scream the sportswriters. Texas and Oklahoma's decision is "all about money!!" //vigorously wrings hands

Well, yes it is, but it's also your fault sportswriters. For years now, sportswriters have pushed obsessively for a national playoff for college football. They swore it would settle all arguments (as if that was a good thing) and wouldn't harm anything we love about college football. But it did. And that it would spoil things was obvious. In fact, I pointed it out: a playoff system changes how value is derived from college football... and that changes behavior.

Pre-playoffs, the value in college football was in beating your rivals and getting to a big name bowl game. That drove fan turn out, which drove ratings. That meant both ticket sales and national television contracts. To get into a great bowl game, every win mattered. The more you won, the better your bowl. So all games mattered. By going 11-0 Nobody State could actually end up in the Orange Bowl or Cotton Bowl. Also, by having cool rivalries and scheduling them on Thanksgiving or the last day of the year, or whatever, you got television coverage. Army v. Navy is the coolest game ever, even though neither team will ever be national champs. This meant any team could matter.

That's not true now. Once they created the playoffs, the definition of value changed. Now value is about getting into the plyoffs. Bowl games became irrelevant. Conferences because irrelevant, except to the extent they gave you a leg up getting into the playoffs. Rivalries? Who cares! All that matters to sportswriters and television is the playoffs. If you don't believe me, watch the coverage this year. Not an article will be written on a national platform about a team that cannot make it to the playoffs. And when teams unexpectedly climb into that category, all the articles about them will be whether or not they can make it and if they deserve to. What's more, the moment they can no longer make it, the articles stop. This is the world the playoffs created: only 10-20 teams matter.

In light of this, it makes total sense that teams like Texas would do what they did. In the Big 12, they had rivals and the ability to sell television contracts in Texas. But the SEC has much more to offer. The SEC pays bigger money, because its television contract is the best. SEC teams dominate the top 10. They dominate the playoffs. Sure, Clemson or Ohio State win the championship from time to time, but the SEC rules. And the reason they dominate is the money they get lets them build first rate facilities and hire the best coaches, and the notoriety of being in the SEC draws in the best athletes.

This is the consequence of these sportswriters pushing for a playoff. They can grouse all they want, but this is the natural response to what they did. This is their fault. They killed the bowl system. They devalued tradition. They made all but 10 teams irrelevant. This isn't over either. The ACC will eventually lose Florida State, Clemson and Miami to the SEC. Parts of the PAC 12 (e.g. USC, UCLA, Colorado, Washington, Oregon) will likely merge with the Big 10. Notre Dame will one day be forced to join one or the other. And everyone else gets second tier status. Sorry.


So now the proposal. What should the rest of the Big 12 do? They've just learned that they are second tier and nobody wants them. Even with sportswriters telling the PAC 12 and Big 10 to pick over their bones, no one wanted any. So should they all just quit? No. I have a plan that could turn the table and change everything: go BIG! Seek out others school on the basis of avoiding irrelevance and create a new Big 12 like this:

(1) Build four football divisions of about 6-8 teams each, leaving room for expansion. They would look like this ("#" means they were ranked in last three years):
East: Cincinnati(7), West Virginia(6), Central Florida(7), South Florida(21), East Carolina, Army(19), Navy(23)

Midwest: Iowa State(6), Kansas, Kansas State(16), Oklahoma State(6), Tulsa(18), Bowling Green, Memphis(15), Tulane

Texas: Baylor(7), TCU(15), Texas Tech(25), Houston(17), SMU(15), Rice, UTEP

West: Boise State(13), BYU(8), Colorado State, Utah State(14), San Diego State(24), Fresno State(16), Air Force Academy(22)
(2) To bolster the football teams, focus on creating an elite basketball conference. This will consist of two divisions of 16 and 20 teams, using the above and a few more who do not have football programs. Here, I would reach for elite or sentimental where possible:

Already in: West Virginia(2), Memphis(9), Iowa State(17), Cincinnati(20), Central Florida(25), South Florida, East Carolina, Army, Navy, Bowling Green, Tulane

Add: Villanova(1), Xavier(3), Butler(5), Seton Hall(8)


Already in: Kansas(1), Baylor(1), San Diego State(4), Houston(5), Texas Tech(6), TCU(10), Oklahoma State(11), SMU(11), Kansas State(12), BYU(14), Utah State(15), Colorado State, Rice, UTEP, Tulsa, Boise State, Fresno State, Air Force Academy

Add: Gonzaga(1), Creighton(7)
(3) Cut a deal with Amazon to stream games of the week for free as an Unlimited promotion and then sell the rest as an "all sports" package (you get football, basketball, and whatever else they want to show). I would do a Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday night game of the week - one from each conference. Sunday and Monday would compete with the NFL, but NFL games can be putrid at times and you can pick regions that aren't implicated in the NFL games that week.

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Thank God For Biden

Thank God Biden is president. Without him, we would be in a real mess.

I mean, we might have out-of-control inflation. But Biden assures us the worst inflation in 30 years is only temporary. If it wasn't for that assurance, I would worry that we're repeating 1981 all over again. But that was 30 years ago, so no worries.

Biden killed that guy too, the one who helped plan the deaths of 13 Marines and 170 Afghans. Sure, the numbers seem skewed but he was a planner. He's the one who told that guy to wear a suicide vest and go where all the foreigners are huddle together. Without him, no one would have figured that out. I must say, I am satisfied. And it's not like Biden's total f-ups caused the situation either. Plus, it felt all machoee to hear his press chick look at the camera and tell us in firm, harsh language that Biden wants whoever is responsible for the nearly 200 deaths to no longer live on this earth. Oh, I feel all dirty, but in a good way.

... And yes, I'm sure this was the right guy. I mean, who else could it be? Besides, Biden would never lie. Plus, I'm sure he was clinging to life on earth rather than some fantasy land about virgins in paradise, so this was serious punishment. Yup, I am satisfied.

Biden stopped COVID too. I mean, there aren't more Americans in hospitals now than at any time during the pandemic, right? And ICU beds aren't filled to such a degree that non-Covid patients are dying from being turned away.

Plus, we cannot deny that he gave us comfort on the origins of Covid. They aren't sure if the Chinese made it or if some Chinese guy got it intercoursing a monkey, but Biden has concluded that even if the Chinese made it, they absolutely did not make it as part of a biological weapon. No siree, they made it as a party favor. I feel safer already.

At least he's asked questions like what Google was doing funding this lab... well, he may ask that question... someday.

He handled that Hurricane in Haiti well though. Doing nothing was just the trick. Just like in Tennessee. Some might say a President owes some attention to flooding victims but Biden says "f*k that."

At least he's protecting tenants... oops. I meant, keeping unemployment benefits going... uh. Would you believe lightening the load of college debt... for a select few?

The Europeans do love him. That's a fact... was a fact. Not so much now. Oh, and if you want to see Europe, go now. They're closing the borders for us again.

You know, I see your doubtful looks and all I can say is you are wrong. Biden killed a man and that's cool. He took an eye for 366 eyes. He made America sound tough and that's all that counts. The world shook. And so what if he went on vacation as Afghanistan burned. It's not like he played golf. He solved Covid outside of Florida. Stranding Europe in Afghanistan? Well, they shouldn't have been there in the first place! And Haiti? F*k Haiti, it's full of Haitians. Who needs that? Screw landlords and tenants too, they're all big corporations. Screw Europe too. As for Covid, it's only Trump supporters getting it, so screw them. And that guy with the monkey? He had it coming. Stop picking on Biden! Give him credit for the good things he's done. His son and wife died. Died! You can't criticize a man whose wife died! And his other son is a saint. A SAINT! Leave Biden alone. So he stages his press conferences and gets pissed when people ask him questions he didn't approve. And his VP is an incompetent cackler. Stop judging! It's hard enough just finding a way into the White House. And it's not like Biden has gotten to relax and sniff any women or children in months!

So just stop. Let the man be.
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Sunday, August 22, 2021


Just to update some recent things we've talked about:


Lots of minorities are posting gloating articles about the number of whites dropping and minorities slowing taking over. Ha ha whitey. But as I told you, the reality is quite different and they are about to be disappointed. I'm not alone in recognizing this either. Indeed, I'm seeing a steady beat of articles from black intellectuals ringing the panic bell. In particular, there are two strains of panic.

First and loudest, despite claims that the number of blacks went up, black intellectuals know this is not true and they are worried that blacks are not having enough babies and will lose political power. Their biggest worries are not enough babies and the rise of mixed-race blacks, who are not loyal blacks. So as I said, they want you to believe the lie for some reason.

Backing this up, by the way, are a growing number of articles about how the number of blacks has dropped dramatically in places like New York City and Chicago. Chicago lost 180,000 blacks between 2000 and 2010 and another 85,000 between 2010 and 2020. Hispanics, on the other hand, grew by about 40,000. This has flipped the racial makeup of the city to such a point that Chicago's 18-5 black to Hispanic aldermen ratio may actually flip entirely after redistricting.
“It’s absolutely going to get ugly. You’ve seen precipitous population loss in the African American community and you’ve seen some growth in the Latino community,” said Alderman Brendan Reilly, 42nd. “I think that both are going to come in with a head of steam, and they’re going to draw some pretty extreme maps.”
Good times.

Secondly, there is unease that to create the impression that whites are shrinking, the Census had to push the idea of separating Hispanics from whites. This may feel satisfying, but they know it's an illusion. In fact, interestingly, you might not remember this, but around the 2000 Census, the left was determined to remove any reference to Hispanic from the Census because they wanted to hide the issue of the number of Mexicans in the US. They thought that was going to get whites to eject illegals and so they tried to hide the issue. By the 2020 Census, however, they had become so convinced that they would control Hispanics that they wanted to highlight the number. But as I explained, that's an illusion too. The US is actually identifying more and more as white.


Wow. This just keeps getting worse. Biden obviously made a fool of himself saying in July that the Taliban would not take over. That was foolish. But now come the lies and disgraces. First, Biden lied to claim that no one told him the Afghan government might collapse. DOD, CIA and State have all denied that whopper. Second, Biden lied about consulting the Europeans, who are pissed he told them nothing and apparently still won't tell them anything. Third, Biden blamed this on Trump and the locals for not wanting to fight, when we basically knocked their legs out from under them. Fourth, Biden lied about our efforts to evacuate people. We've done nothing as the Euros went around and rescued people. He lied about people being able to get to the airport when the Taliban has stopped them. He lied about controlling the airport when the Taliban surround it. He lied about people dying at the airport when we have video showing them die. He lied about the number of jets and the number of people on them. This has been the most incompetent evacuation ever. He lied about why we had no plan to evacuate people, giving contradictory reasons why he had no plan in place and took no action. Then it gets even more despicable: Biden lied to coverup the fact we are abandoning the Afghan interpreters and others who helped us by claiming they didn't want to leave Afghanistan. EVERYONE involved says that's entirely false. He was also outed as having said "F*ck that! Nixon got away with it" when someone in Obama's administration told him we had a responsibility to help these people. Utterly shameful.


Like I mentioned, social security is looking at a 6% raise, which is an admission that inflation is likely 10%. But then they announced that they were raising welfare payments by 26%. Think about what that means.


Biden is planning to hike taxes on small business. He's going to give rich people a break though by trying to make their state taxes deductible again. This is aimed at subsidizing high tax liberal states like New York and California and 90% of it will go to the genuinely rich.

yay liberalism...
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Friday, August 20, 2021

Something Is Wrong In America

Something has definitely gone wrong in America these days, and I'm not even talking politics. I'm just speaking on a personal level. It seems the world is suddenly full of the worst kind of narcissists, losers, whiners and malingerers. A perfect example of this is this guy:
What bothers me about this inbred motherf*cker is that there are a whole army of this guy roaming the streets of Colorado Springs compensating for their tiny dicks by driving these exact same pickup trucks, trying to make themselves feel like men by terrorizing children in crosswalks, throwing crap at athletes at sporting events from afar, and screaming at defenseless employees that they ain't wearing no mask... always lashing out at a target chosen carefully for their inability to fight back.

These guys are the definition of cowards. They desperately need to bully others to prove their manhood, but they lack the physical and mental prowess to do it, because they are small and weak and stupid and pointless -- and frankly, if you have to prove your manhood, then you don't have it in the first place. So they hide behind machines to compensate... small-dicked cowards in pickup trucks... pointless loses with guns who shoot up schools... pathetic loners trolling the internet... nasty sheep pushing intolerant tolerance to control from afar.

In the past, these beer-bellied goat-f*ckers were shunned by society and busted by the cops when they picked fights at strip clubs or got caught masturbating behind the dumpster. Now, it seems that banks are lending them money to let them move out of the trailer park, country music and talk radio glorify their idiocy, and the world is a worse place because of them.

These subhumans aren't the only problem in American society, far from it, but they are the model of what has gone wrong with this country. The rugged, educated individualist has turned into the whiny, retarded, compensating bully.
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Sunday, August 15, 2021


Afghanistan. The "Graveyard of Empires." Let's talk about Afghanistan. I have several thoughts.

First... the Afghan government and military have collapsed. They weren't even beaten on the field, they just evaporated as institutions once we left. Who could have predicted that, right? Well, I did. This quote is from me in 2009 at this very blog:

There is nothing about Afghanistan (or anywhere else in the world) that tells me that democracy can be imposed by outsiders where it does not have strong roots already. Their culture is destructive and is simply not suited for any form of cooperative government. Yes, we can create a pretend democracy as long as we occupy the country. But the moment we leave, they will revert to their natural instincts. Thus, our plans to create a stable Afghanistan by imposing a democracy on these people are doomed to fail. The moment we leave, everything will evaporate.
So I was right. Afghanistan is not a country, it's a cluster of ethnic tribes with no common ground. Nor are they civilized. They are not a people who grasp the value of peaceful coexistence, civil and legal rights, and all the things which have made the West a success, and they will never defend those things. The idea that we could unite them into a country was always foolish. And that proved true.

Secondly... the fact these people won't even stand up for themselves is the most damning bit of evidence we never should have been there. And somehow, no one noticed in the past 20 years and $100 billion. Why not?

Third... Biden made the right call leaving. Yup. Just as we never should have gone in, we should not have stayed. It makes no sense to lose one single precious American life to try to maintain the fiction that this is a country worth "protecting." That was New World Order hubris. And honestly, you need to doubt the judgment or integrity of anyone telling you that we needed to stay. If we couldn't turn them into a functioning country willing to defend themselves in TWENTY year, it was never going to happen. We were wasting time, money and lives. I feel bad for everyone who was injured or killed in this cause and I feel bad for everyone in Afghanistan who helped us and will now suffer, but this did need to end and it was never going to end in victory. So I do give Biden credit for having the nerve to pull the plug.

Fourth... THAT SAID, Biden is a fool who really botched this. Just like the Democrats screwed up our exit in Vietnam by cutting all funding for the fledgling South Vietnam government, Biden screwed this up by fleeing. An orderly exit could have been achieved if someone other than the New World Order types had done the thinking. Cutting this up into smaller, defensible countries, handing them off to ethnically related neighbors, and building the military into sustainable militias would have prevented the collapse... but flies in the face of NWO dreams.

Fifth... Biden trying to blame this debacle on Trump is despicable. You botched this, sir. You alone are responsible for the clusterf*ck that ensued.

Sixth... Biden blaming Trump won't work either. Trump had no hand in this, it was all Biden and that's obvious. What's more, the MSM isn't in the most forgiving mood anymore regarding Biden. His failures and disgraces are piling up and the writing is on the wall; it's time for the MSM to look for a new hero. As an aside, as his disasters pile up, Biden is giving Jimmy Carter a run for his money as worst president ever.

Seventh... from a technical standpoint, the failure on this is interesting. First, you have the moral and cultural failures I've addressed. But there's an interesting judgment failure here too. As warlords, they had stood up well to the Taliban, so why did they fall apart at the word "boo" here? Well, it turns out that when the NWO types rebuilt the Afghan Army, they built it along Western lines, with the idea of huge supply chains, just in time delivery of ammo and food, massive air support, and paperwork galore. A dirt poor sh*thole country could not continue that supply chain and had no air force, which left their troops without support, food, ammo or medical help. Twenty years of building and the "experts" built it along the wrong model.

Eighth... the NWO types want us to worry that this leaves the US vulnerable, but will it? I don't think so. First, no one doubts the US will go to war quite easily. So don't expect any state actors to get (more) uppity. On the other hand, you might think this will discourage people from working with us, right? Except what the Taliban is about to do to the Afghan people will scare everyone else worldwide into accepting US help if it's offered. This will be the Khmer Rouge all over again.

Ninth... finally, I think it's important to note that once again, we made the mistake here of joining a civil war. We came in to get Al Queda and we ended up picking a fight with the Taliban. They are two different groups. And as sh*tty as the Taliban are, they are just the other side of the same coin of the other ethnic groups, and by fighting them, we picked sides in a civil war. If the goal was Al Queda, that's who we should have gotten and then left. Fighting the Taliban was deciding to become king makers... and you can't impose a king from outside.

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Saturday, August 14, 2021

Why Lie?

So the last few days I explained why ALL the headlines and conventional wisdom about the Census data are provably wrong (make sure you read my comments). Twenty million whites have not died off. The black population is shrinking, not growing. Hispanics are growing, but there are two types of Hispanics and most of them identify as white. Whites are not and will not become a minority. The majority of kids are not browns. Etc. This stuff is super easy to verify, yet everyone is running around repeating these bizarrely false claims. Why?

All told, I would say the left has three reasons why they would lie about this. Talk radio has one. Talk radio wants to scare you into continuing to listen: stay afraid... stay afraid... buy my book! The left's rational is more complicated. The left has been promising a racial takeover of the United States for decades now. You would think it would be bad to keep making this promise if it isn't true or can easily be debunked. But then, human nature tells us otherwise because few people are genuinely rational. Here are the reasons the left is lying:

(1) Scare The Opposition: By beating this drum, the left gets many on the right and in the center to cower in fear of the coming brownpocalyse. This does several things. It gets many to surrender and try appeasement: i.e. if they will soon be the majority, we better do things to earn their good graces now. A similar line of reasoning would keep these people from fighting too hard in the hopes of some sort of truce in the future: i.e. I didn't mess with you then, remember, so don't mess with me now. Then there is the aspect of demoralization. This is similar to the first two, but it leads to a kind of inaction because of the sense of futility: i.e. why bother doing anything, there's nothing we can do. Finally, there's a kind of dastardly idea, which is this might encourage a certain set to act out against brown people and thereby help make the sales pitch that whites are racist easier to sell to browns.

(2) Groupthink: Leftists don't need to be right, ever, to keep their followers following them. Their followers excel at cognitive dissonance and disavowing their own actions. By continuing to beat this drum, they keep these leftists in line by promising a glorious socialist future a-comin' if they can only hang on long enough for browns to breed themselves into the majority... have faith, the promised land is almost here. There's little danger of their collectives figuring out the truth either. Consider that the left has kept the anti-gun nuts, the environmental nuts, the feminists, the gays, the race baiters, etc. all on the hook with promises the left repeatedly goes out of its way to never fulfill, lest these groups get satisfied and leave. They will accept this version of Paradise Coming as well.

(3) Leftist Browns: These people know the score. They've seen the numbers. They know the Democrats have realized brown-power-America is not coming. Yet, the image of brown-power-America coming is useful to them for reasons 1 and 2 above. They can use it to drive a hard bargain with moderates and surrenderists to get things now on credit in the false believe that one day they will be the ruling class. They can simultaneously use it to keep their weak-minded collectives in line.

There's something else too though. I think there is another reason this group keeps this fantasy going: they want it to be true. You see this all the time with humans, where we act according to things we wish would come true even though a reasonable assessment tells us it will never happen. We buy things we can't afford in the hope of an unrealistic pay raise or stock market win. We buy lottery tickets. We buy clothes that don't fit in the hope that if we can just lose those last 40 pounds, they will soon fit. Human beings are terrible at living in reality... we live in hope for fantasy. They know better though, right? Yeah, but when you live in a big city surrounded by nothing but blacks and Hispanics and your television is full of them, it's not so hard to believe that despite the numbers maybe it is really happening. That's called drinking the KoolAid. Add in a slew of professors and activists who tell us that minorities are always under-counted or if you squint at the data it looks kind of like something other than what it is, and it's easy to slip into fantasy. As a lawyer, I see this with clients all the time.

All told, what you are seeing is a lie, and the people telling it either know it is a lie or can figure it out in seconds if they bother to look, but it fits a narrative that does a whole lot of things they like and they kind of want it to be true, so they keep telling it.

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Thursday, August 12, 2021

The End of White America?

'Twenty years ago if you told people this was going to be the case, they wouldn't have believed you,' said William Frey, demographer at the leftwing Brookings Institution. 'The country is changing dramatically.'

That's a lie. No one would have doubted it. To the contrary, that's been the left's strategy since the late 1980s. It won't happen either. Why? There's something wrong in the numbers. Let's discuss.

The left has been playing the minority strategy for some time. They believed that one day soon, American demographics would shift so that whites, while still the majority group, would be less than 50% of the population - what they call a minority-majority state. And the left believed that if they could band together all the browns, then they could take over from the whites. To their glee, it was predicted that by 2020, America would reach the point where browns would outnumber whites, then they would take over! Mwooo hoo ha ha! Only, it didn't happen. Huh. //scratches head So they moved the date back. It will happen in 2025, 2030, 2035, 2041!!!

But will it happen? No.

What they didn't realize is that Hispanics stop having babies in the numbers they do as peasants in Guatalashithole when they move here. Even Mexico has gone this route now and is far below replacement level (I told you about this when the blog started). So every census, they keep moving back the takeover date... and they'll move it again because it will never happen. Let's look at the numbers.

According the news reports on the Census report, blacks "stayed steady" at 12.5% of the population. Good for them, but it's not true. Hispanics are now "almost 20%," ok, we'll see. Asians are around 6%. Pacific Islanders are 1.5% and whites "could dip below 60%."


Blacks first. "Blacks" stayed steady at 12.5%, right? Not quite. 8% of blacks are actually mixed with Asians or whites. 5% of blacks are Hispanic blacks. This means that 13% of blacks are mixed, and mixed is not the same as Black. I'll talk about that another day, but just accept that blacks are shrinking. While the claim is they are holding steady, they are actually down 13%. For now, let's not worry about this, but it will matter. Trust me on this.

Whites. If you do the math above, you get around 60% whites, which makes the media giddy. But when you look at the number of people reporting as "white," it's actually 73%. The reason for this is that Hispanics, except for black-Hispanics, are actually white people. So is it fair to count them as whites?

Well, that depends on what generation they are. 77% of Hispanics are third generation Hispanics. This means that their parents were born in the US and they were born in the US. That's actually higher than non-Hispanic whites. A full 95% of this group speaks English, not Spanish. They give their kids Anglo names, not Hispanic names. And marketing groups are frustrated by their inability to reach them. They describe them as people who are proud of their Hispanic heritage but identify as Americans and are proud of being Americans. They feel that marketers do not understand them because they want to be reached as Americans, not Hispanics. Said differently, they don't identify as Hispanics and that makes it hard for marketers to reach them.

Moreover, the big headline you will hear pounded at you is how whites shrank for the first time. Oh my. But the reason for that is that during Covid, Millenians stopped building families. They will take up again in a year or so and we will face a white baby boom, which will offset these last couple years.

Anyways, back to Hispanics. Considering the third generation issue is important. Hispanics are listed as "around 20%" though they are really only 18.5%. That means that 14.2% points of the 18.5% "Hispanic population" are actually third generation, or whites with Hispanic heritage who identify as whites. Add those to whites and you suddenly get the following:
61.7% Whites
14.2% White with Hispanic Heritage
4.3% Hispanics
10.9% Blacks
1.6% Mixed Race Blacks
5.8% Asians
1.5% Pacific Islanders
So, whites are actually 75.9%. Blacks are 10.9%. Asians are 5.8%. Hispanic-Hispanics are 4.3%. What's more, as Hispanics live here, they become more white until they blur into the white population. I honestly don't think whites will ever fall below 70% based on this. (Why does it seem there are so many? They cluster in Texas and California.)

Even worse for the Democrats, Asians are more white than whites and are slowing becoming full Republicans (they will take over the California Republican Party actually). Hispanics become the same as white as they become third generation, which means they become Republicans. There are signs that black males are starting to break from the Democrats because of their shift to white women as their power base. And then there's the mixed race danger I will talk about later. The end result is the total collapse of the demographic strategy.

This is why the Democrats went into such a panic after the last election, because they realized that (1) minorities will not take over as the majority as the Democrats assumed when they looked at immigrant birth rates and assumed that was normal for Hispanics, and (2) everyone except blacks proved to be more Republican than expected.

Talk radio will blast you with: white people are about to be outnumbered by the brown hoards!!! Cower in fear and buy my newsletter! But it's not true.

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Monday, August 2, 2021

It's 1980 All Over Again

Do you remember the early 1980s? I do. It was an odd time. Right before Reagan's policies kicked in and saved the United States, we hit a period of inflation that was both strange and unprecedented. Almost overnight, everything doubled in expense. Seemingly without anyone noticing, everything changed and a new normal appeared and everybody acted like nothing had happened. I think we're going through that again.

Normal inflation is a couple percentage points a year. What was $1 this year becomes $1.03 next year and $1.08 the next. Ho hum. In a bad year, $1 become $1.25 and people complain. In the 1930s in Germany, inflation was insane and 1 deutschmark became 10,000 overnight... and the system collapsed. But in the 1970s, something stranger happened. Overnight, $1 became $3 and no one noticed. The price of a cheap car went from $3,000 to $15,000 within months. Middle class houses went from $80,000 to $200,000. Food items went from $0.10 to $0.99. And then inflation stopped. Even stranger, nobody noticed. Everyone just took it as the new normal and moved on with the new numbers as if these had always been the prices for things.

Part of the reason no one cared was that wages went up with the change in prices. In fact, wages doubled from the late 1970s to the mid-1980s and Reagan created massive numbers of new high-paying jobs (like defense jobs) which took people to new income brackets. Still, it was funny not to hear people in shock about what X cost only a few months ago. I think the effect ultimately was what you see when people come into money: they stop caring what things cost. With everyone suddenly richer, they didn't care that everything was no more expensive.

I think we're in that kind of moment again. Housing prices have doubled in the past half-decade with a 25% rise last year alone. Food has more than doubled. Everything is getting crazy expensive. How expensive? Consider the Big Max index, my favorite indicator of inflation between countries. The Big Mac index assumes that McDonalds does three things: (1) sources locally, (2) obtains goods and supplies from a broad cross-section of society, and (3) drives vicious bargains. Thus, what it pays is a good indication of what living costs locally. And what it charges between countries is a great comparison of the actual cost of things. Thus, you can find out what a currency is really worth by comparing the prices of Big Macs in the different countries.

This works just as well looking backwards in time as it does across countries. The cost of a Big Mac meal was around $7 just 5-7 years ago. Now it's $11. Expect it to be $12-13 by the end of the year. If the $15 minimum wage hits, expect McDonalds to add another $1-$3 surchage. That's basically a doubling. And don't forget about shrinkflation. The media has finally discovered this, that products are getting smaller but being kept in the same packages even as prices rise. That means inflation is even worse than the dollars indicate. (As an aside, I'm pretty sure McDonalds has cut 1-3 ounces out of their drinks, which works out to tens of millions of ounces saved a day.)

People are noticing the inflation and the shrinkflation (though less so) but no one seems to realize the scope. The government is taking about 6%. Most people talk about 1-2 items in isolaton. But few have put it all together. The entire US market just jumped up double what it had been.

Now comes the catch... salaries have not kept up.

Liberals have been pushing the $15 minimum wage, but that only affects a tiny number of people and no one above them is getting pushed up equally. Lots of good liberals are quite pissed to find out that their teenagers are suddenly making nearly as much as they are after decades of work. People I know at big established firms are getting the usual 3-4%. Social Security might get as high as 6%.

That 6% is a catch too. Because the government says there is 6% inflation, few companies will give more than that as a cost of living raise, even if the real number is 200%. This is bad. Why?

First, it means that workers get screwed. Your real wages are about to get crushed because your raise will never keep up with inflation. Sure, your company will be more competitive because you just got cheaper, but you are the one paying for their luck.

Secondly, this means that things like investments and loans are all priced wrong and if you end up on the wrong side, you will get destroyed. If you own a long term investment, it probably just lost a lot of value.

Third, it means everyone's standard of living is about to drop as things become massively more expensive. Middle and lower middle class wages will not be able to buy homes.

Fourth, it means retirees are going to get crushed.

Fifth, it means we all need to rethink the cost of things. It means we need to adjust mentally to what things should cost, what is too much, and what is not too much. It means not knowing what you can really afford at the moment. It makes budgetting super hard -- it's going to be a bit like going to a foreign country where the prices seem all right until you realize that the currency difference make them all kind of screwy and you don't really know if you're being raped or not.

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