‘The systematic deregulation of labor markets offers the best, last hope of tackling unemployment. If only our political leaders understood that simple and powerful message. Unfortunately, they don’t. So expect more stagnation going forward.’
Hymowitz tracks her time in Brooklyn and offers an interesting background and look at its history. She notes why she thinks it’s been surging lately:
‘The third reason for Brooklyn’s modern revival was the arrival of a new generation of gentrifiers, a large group of college-educated folks who, like the previous generation, found the urban, neighborly, and safer streets of the borough mightily attractive.’
And of them:
‘Unlike their predecessors, however, these grads are not only artsy; they’re tech-savvy and entrepreneurial. Don’t confuse them with the earlier artists and bohemians who daringly smoked pot at Brooklyn Heights parties. These are beneficiaries of a technology-fueled design economy, people who have been able to harness their creativity to digital media’
And of the post-industrial knowledge gap:
The problem is that these boutique businesses have a limited impact on the borough’s total economy. For all their energy and creativity, Brooklyn’s young entrepreneurs tend to have few employees, and they’re not likely to be hiring large numbers in the future.
And thus her conclusion:
‘Brooklyn’s story, then, doesn’t lend itself to a simple happy ending. Instead, the borough is a microcosm of the nation’s “hourglass economy.” At the top, the college-educated are doing interesting, motivating work during the day and bicycling home to enjoy gourmet beer and grass-fed beef after hours. At the bottom, matters are very different.’
There’s a bit of a swipe there at the hipsters, and certain underlying ideas she likely takes issue with (progressive, green, idealistic, creative class, meritocratic ideas).
Big cities like Chicago and New York (which unlike Detroit, Cleveland and Pittsburgh are still centers of trade and finance to balance out the lost industry) have been losing a lot of low and middle-income private sector jobs, so where are we headed?
‘Pakistan accused NATO on Saturday of killing 26 soldiers in a lethal air strike, protesting in the strongest terms to the US and sealing its border to NATO supplies bound for Afghanistan.
It was the deadliest NATO strike reported by Pakistan during the 10-year war in Afghanistan and looked set to inflame already extremely difficult US-Pakistani relations still reeling from the May killing of Osama bin Laden.’
We’ve always been played a bit on both ends in Pakistan, even by Musharraf, because a leader can’t be that far ahead of his people (despite his real sympathies, wherever they may have lain). We’ve needed Pakistani support for the entire AfPak project and our aid money continues to stabilize a fragile State. Now it appears that the situation is deteriorating more rapidly.
As Gillespie points out, many libertarians are indifferent or even hostile to religion. Napolitano, however, merges a common defense of individual liberties most libertarians can get behind with his life as practicing Catholic and an advocate of Natural Law (he’s pro-life). He mentions a tradition he sees stretching from Aristotle to Aquinas to John Locke to Thomas Jefferson onward to the present day. On his view, our freedoms come from our humanity, and our humanity is cast in God’s image. God is free and so humans are free, and thus humans derive their free will from God and the Natural Law. This freedom acts a strong line of defense against the interests of the anti-theists, and the oft state-building secular, progressive Left who will seek to enshrine their ideals within the power and expansion of the government (from abortion to public assistance to the growth of definitions of liberty that also include women and black folks).
Clearly our commonwealth and Constitution create no religious test for office, and do so in order to get around the constant religious strife and persecution going on in a Europe which so many fled (including the Puritans, the Calvinists, the Huguenots and the waves of 19th century onward Irish/Italian Catholic immigrants with which I’m more familiar).
Napolitano then ends up using a broader defense of liberty against both conservatives and liberals who seek State power to further their interests and who can violate due process, and probably brings him back around to the libertarianism he’s known for.
Surprisingly interesting discussion.
***And as regards making laws that enslave some, Napolitano mentions a higher law of Aquinas’ ‘right reason.’ Here’s a quote from J.S. Mill, whose utilitarianism is often used as the best argument I’ve heard for the freedom and opportunity of women and minorities:
“The likings and dislikings of society, or of some powerful portion of it, are thus the main thing which has practically determined the rules laid down for general observance, under the penalties of law or opinion. And in general, those who have been in advance of society in thought and feeling, have left this condition of things unassailed in principle, however they may have come into conflict with it in some of its details. They have occupied themselves rather in inquiring what things society ought to like or dislike, than in questioning whether its likings or dislikings should be a law to individuals. They preferred endeavoring to alter the feelings of mankind on the particular points on which they were themselves heretical, rather than make common cause in defence of freedom, with heretics generally. The only case in which the higher ground has been taken on principle and maintained with consistency, by any but an individual here and there, is that of religious belief:…”
******I should add that I don’t view taxation as theft as long as those governing maintain the consent of the governed (which requires vigilance and participation on both sides). I believe the government does have a role to play in the common defense, local government in local education, in some financial regulation, and in securing private property. I don’t think it follows that such a defense naturally advocates the progressive vision (and more importantly what so often lies beneath it given human nature, especially in big cities: union bosses forcing membership, graft, waste, some corruption, federal bureaucrats in every localized educational setting, distorted markets and the distressing incentives of the Welfare State…it is a road to financial and political dysfunction we can’t afford).
‘Modern versions of eliminative materialism claim that our common-sense understanding of psychological states and processes is deeply mistaken and that some or all of our ordinary notions of mental states will have no home, at any level of analysis, in a sophisticated and accurate account of the mind. In other words, it is the view that certain common-sense mental states, such as beliefs and desires, do not exist’
‘Here we see a tension that runs throughout the writings of many early eliminative materialists. The problem involves a vacillation between two different conditions under which mental concepts and terms are dropped. The first scenario proposes that certain mental concepts will turn out to be empty, with mental state terms referring to nothing that actually exists. Historical analogs for this way of understanding eliminativism are cases where we (now) say it turned out there are no such things, such as demons and crystal spheres. The second scenario suggests that the conceptual framework provided by neurosciences (or some other physical account) can or should come to replace the common-sense framework we now use.’
‘In her new book, American Nietzsche: A History of an Icon and His Ideas, Jennifer Ratner-Rosenhagen focuses on writers, academics and the clergy, showing that Nietzsche’s influence on American intellectuals has been durable and wide. Everyone from the feminist and birth-control advocate Margaret Sanger on the left to Francis Fukuyama on the right could, Ratner-Rosenhagen shows, could claim the label “Nietzschean.”
Worth a read. Perhaps he’s having bit of a resurgence in the legal academy as well.
‘A four-day Loya Jirga or traditional grand assembly, with over 2,300 participants including tribal elders, notables, lawmakers and government functionaries, kicked off in capital city of Kabul on Wednesday and wrapped up on Saturday.
In a 76-article resolution read-out at the end of the four-day Jirga, the participants expressed their support to ink strategic relationship with the United States, believing it would benefit war-torn Afghanistan in all fields.’
“It is no matter for me if this country has any relations with others but I am thinking how to cope with this price hike. Living cost is very high here and nobody cares about it,” Sakhi went on to say while complaining about the skyrocketing prices of basic foodstuff and fuel as the winter is coming the war-torn country.’
Totten interviews one Ramez Ataliah about events as they unfold in Egypt, and the potential fate of Egypt’s Christians if a less tolerant Islam comes to power.
‘Sadat brought in a regime change. The world was mesmerized by his peace with Israel, but he led such a sophisticated and high-class life that he didn’t care for the poor and the destitute. The capital he brought in was helpful on the one hand, but it didn’t help the poor people. Mubarak continued with Sadat’s philosophy, but not enough of the common people shared the wealth. Mubarak lost touch and forgot that he needed the approval of the masses to rule. He found himself way out of sync with the street. Nasser wasn’t.’