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Theater of the Absurd

 

Exhibit One: But Politics has always been theater.
 The Tweets:
 Donald J. Trump
@realDonaldTrump
PRESIDENTIAL HARASSMENT!
Ilhan Omar
@IlhanMN
No thanks, just lived through one!
 

Pres. Racist, Con Man & Cheat‏ @dazzah May 2
Replying to @NoahShachtman @KFILE @MargaretHoover
BREAKING: Bernie Madoff has replaced Moore as the next nominee for Fed. Sources close to White House state that working from prison will present challenges, but working from prison may be a new norm in this administration.
 
Exhibit Two: Slippery Slopes
Next thing you know, you'll have to get a license to drive. What then? Are they going to force us to register our cars & bolt a uniquely numbered, state-issued metal plate on the back? It's a slippery slope that will only lead to an auto-insurance requirement for all drivers.
Jon [email protected]
 
Donald J. Trump‏@realDonaldTrump
The NRA is under siege by Cuomo and the New York State A.G., who are illegally using the State’s legal apparatus to take down and destroy this very important organization, & others. It must get its act together quickly, stop the internal fighting, & get back to GREATNESS - FAST!
 
 The President is right to be worried by the NRA’s current problems. He is concerned that the group won’t be able to again spend tens of millions of dollars to back him in the 2020 election as it did so effectively in 2016. He needs them to end the organization’s internal battles, the charges of insider self-dealing involving its CEO and the NRA President, and focus on its legal and financial threats. Trump’s 2020 political prospects are expected to turn in part on the NRA repeating what it did in 2016 to back his candidacy. The NRA spent a record $30m-plus on ads supporting Trump and mobilized its field operations in critical Midwestern swing states. How stable the organization’s finances will be in 2020 is still an open question.
 
Exhibit Three: Allocation of Resources
The broad brush version:
There is always a lot of talk of how wealth is distributed in a society, and even more basically who generates it. But for most of Human history we were hunter-gatherers, and wealth, in this case the most basic wealth, food, was a community property.

With the advent of agriculture, our fall from Eden as recorded in the Bible, this all changed.

Soon tribes could produce excess food, albeit not as healthy food, and they began the societal separation between Ownership and Labor.

Monarchy (by many names) followed and this division was easy. The “Elites” owned everything and everyone work for them. Different societies had varying levels of equality but for the most part collective society was very much top down. But as Alexander found out at times the workers, in this case his army, would take collective action and could have a voice in larger matters, and his conquests stopped at the Indus River.

 A wealthy merchant class always helped equalization, and finances were another form of more equal distribution. Still until the industrial revolution although Society was steadily becoming more inclusive, it remained heavily top down. But a new social structure was forming and the dividing lines subtly changed, from Monarch and People to Ownership and Labor. And as this new structure took root it became clear that at the heart of this arrangement was the new, and yet as old as society itself, dichotomy of Opportunity and Execution.
 
Opportunity, having the infrastructure set up to be able to follow your dream. In our modern age this is often overlooked, but it is they Key foundation of success. A stable society with a functional infrastructure and a population of workers, and as importantly consumers, affords the entrepreneur the environment necessary to turn dreams into reality and wealth. This stable society is a communal effort, not an individual one, and the costs of this effort is spread throughout society in the form of taxes.
 
Execution is the individual hard work and risk taking to gather the resources and talent necessary to make the opportunity reality. This is Ownership and Labor.
 
It is from our view of Opportunity and Execution that our economic models arise. How much does the individual contribute to the infrastructure that sustains them, and just as important, what parts of existence should be sustained by society at large? The debates are endless. How much of the wealth created by Opportunity is due to Ownership and how much to Labor? The Owner-driven NFL has one vision of this and the Labor-driven NBA has another. Again the debates are endless.
 
Morality can enter into any debate, evil is omnipresent in human society, but for the most part Opportunity and Execution are not moral decisions. They are choices made by the society on how it wants to construct itself. Morality creeps in with the constraints society imposes on its members to comply with its dictates, i.e. Laws.  But Laws work both ways, and they are also used to preserve morality (Freedoms) for society at large.
 
So freedom is a double-edged sword. If a society has the freedom to practice Free Range Capitalism, then it also has the freedom to practice Button Down Socialism. This is a socioeconomic and cultural choice, not a moral one.
 
At the Exit:
 Rather interesting stat from the latest Harper's Index:
Average percentage win rate for a presidential administration in court cases involving the adoption of new regulations: 69%.
Percentage win rate for the Trump Administration, through March 2019: 5.6%
President Trump will be appealing the ruling that allows congressional subpoenas of his financial records to be enforced to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, headed by ... Merrick Garland.
Yes, politics has always been theater.
 

Unkwil

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Uncle Willie loves to have feedback from both readers who appreciate his point of view as well as from missguided souls who disagree.