Progressive Dream for America: Law of Jante

Face it. Progressives hate America and Americans who don’t conform to their strict code of conduct. They attack anyone who does not conform, including institutions such as corporations and institutes. Of course, these entities are run by people so the message is really to them.

Since some progressives have expressed admiration for Nordic countries, I present their code of conduct.

The Law of Jante is a code of conduct known in Nordic countries, that portrays doing things out of the ordinary, being overtly personally ambitious, or not conforming, as unworthy and inappropriate.

Used generally in colloquial speech in the Nordic countries as a sociological term to denote a condescending attitude towards individuality and success, the term refers to a mentality that diminishes individual effort and places all emphasis on the collective, while simultaneously denigrating those who try to stand out as individual achievers.

Intro to the ten rules:

There are ten rules in the law as defined by Sandemose, all expressive of variations on a single theme and usually referred to as a homogeneous unit: You are not to think you’re anyone special or that you’re better than us.

The ten rules.

The ten rules state:

You’re not to think you are anything special.

You’re not to think you are as good as we are.

You’re not to think you are smarter than we are.

You’re not to imagine yourself better than we are.

You’re not to think you know more than we do.

You’re not to think you are more important than we are.

You’re not to think you are good at anything.

You’re not to laugh at us.

You’re not to think anyone cares about you.

You’re not to think you can teach us anything.

This is not America.

Here.

 

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Meaning of a 70% Income Tax Rate

Several Democrats have proposed a top income tax rate of 70% on incomes over $10 million.

Samuel Hammond argues that it is NOT about the optimal tax rate, soaking the rich, the rate in the past. It is a symbolic attack on the legitimacy of wealth accumulation itself.

Its goal is not about tax-fairness or raising revenue efficiently (which it fails at on both counts). Its goal is to popularize a strict egalitarian view of wealth accumulation as prima facie evidence of personal corruption. If that view catches on, it would represent a major setback in the public’s understanding of the differences, both normative and economic, between productively acquired wealth and rent seeking.

The Democratic Socialist’s economic model is Scandinavia. But we in the U.S. have our own economic model, and culture based on our own history. We are more individualist.

With the countercultural rebellions of the 1960s and 70s, followed by the Reagan Revolution of the 1980s, the left and right eventually reverted back to America’s historically more individualistic ethos of self-expression and entrepreneurship.

In Scandinavia, the dominant conformist zeitgeist is called the Law of Jante, a reference to a fictional Danish town that enforces being ordinary in every possible way. “Tall poppy syndrome” is perhaps the closest concept in American vernacular, although it doesn’t do the oppressiveness of Scandinavia’s egalitarian milieu justice. Excessive ambition is frowned upon while non-conformists are treated with suspicion, as illustrated by the expression, “You are not to think you’re better than us.”

The cost of this strict egalitarianism. In Scandinavia, the rich stay rich and everybody else is stuck. They’re economic opportunity is a snapshot frozen in time. Nobody can rise up because they are taxed too much to save anything that can be invested.

In short, Ocasio-Cortez’s focus on soaking the small number of Americans who make more than $10 million in a year has earned her socialist bona fides while ironically sparing — if not threatening to entrench — the closest thing America has an to emerging nobility. That’s not radical. Far from it. It’s conformism to the most mundane progressive politics imaginable.

We are Americans. They are trying to force 300+ million people to behave the way they deem worthy. No. Move to your utopia. Leave us alone. These people are tyrants and must be stopped.

Hammond’s piece here.

President Trump is a Symptom of the New Class Warfare

But guess what? He’s on the side of those being exploited and is defending them.

Glenn Harlan Reynolds:

“But the New Class isn’t limited to communist countries, really. Around the world in the postwar era, power was taken up by unelected professional and managerial elites. To understand what’s going on with President Donald Trump and his opposition, and in other countries as diverse as France, Hungary, Italy and Brazil, it’s important to realize that the post-World War II institutional arrangements of the Western democracies are being renegotiated, and that those democracies’ professional and managerial elites don’t like that very much, because they have done very well under those arrangements. And, like all elites who are doing very well, they don’t want that to change.”

The Goal of Progressive Government is Control

In the U.S., the Democratic party is the party of government and fully embracing of progressivism. The Republican party’s message is muddled. They say they are for smaller government, more freedom, and constitutionally limited government, but they too crave control.

Politicians, government employees, political insiders crave control, certainty, and stability. You hear them talk about stability of financial markets, of job markets, of domestic social and global situations. When they complain about “market fundamentalism”, the break-up of the family, wealth disparities, etc. they are making a play for control over the lives of the citizenry.

With that in mind, view any issue from the perspective of politicians. Growing a government bureaucracy is one way of maintaining control. The people employed in government agencies hold jobs in the bureaucracy. They are voters as well, but they are just as self-interested in their job security, money, respect, social acceptance, celebrity, and public adoration as anyone else. You see, money is not the only form of recognition. So when anyone cites something other than money when they are recognized for some achievement, they are seeking recognition by other means — as I listed above. They may feel good about themselves for avoiding recognition via cash payment, but they, nonetheless, are still seeking something. They are not selfless.

How You Spend Your Money Is Your Business

Don Boudreaux to a reader:

Mr. Grant:

You ask how I “dare infer” that my “self-centered desire” to trade with foreigners as I choose should “outweigh the American people’s verdict to have our President conduct our trade in ways which he concludes advances our national interest.”

I ask how you dare infer that Donald Trump’s – or Chuck Schumer’s, or Lindsey Graham’s, or Bernie Sanders’s, or Peter Navarro’s, or Sherrod Brown’s, or Steve Bannon’s, or you-name-the-arrogant-brute’s – self-interested desire to prevent me from trading with foreigners should outweigh my own verdict, when spending my own money, to conduct my trade in ways that I conclude will advance my own interest.

How I spend my money is none of Trump’s – or American voters’ – business. Nor is it any of your business. Also none of Trump’s or American-voters’ business is how you spend your money. Nor is it any of mine.

To the extent that we embrace your and Trump’s belief that government officials have a right to superintend how each individual spends his or her own money, we treat our rights as garbage and become hapless beasts of burden for those whom we gullibly permit to shove their bridles into our mouths. I’ll have none of it.

My sentiments exactly.

Three Widely Believed Economic Fallacies

Steve Horowitz:

The Fallacy of the Zero-Sum Game

The first of these fallacies is the belief that market activities, especially exchange, are zero-sum games. Zero-sum games are those in which the total gained from playing the game is zero. So, for example, if each of five people playing poker buys into the game for $100, there is only $500 to be won.

. . .

We see this misperception of markets in a variety of forms. At the most general level, the belief that the rich get rich by impoverishing others is a species of zero-sum thinking.

 

 

The Fallacy That Order Requires Design

The second fallacy is the belief that economies require someone or some group to design and/or control them. Often this belief is linked to an argument from complexity: only a simple economy could be left to its own devices. Complex, advanced economies like those across most of the globe require human monitoring and regulation to function properly.

. . .

The flaw at the heart of this fallacy is that it ignores the idea of spontaneous or undesigned order.

 

The Fallacy that Consumption is the Key to Growth

The final fallacy is the belief that consumption is the source of economic growth. This belief is widely held by everyone from the citizenry at large up through economic journalists and politicians. We hear it every time the economy enters a recession and begins to recover. Pundits declare that consumers need to start buying things to generate a recovery, and reports about the latest data on consumer spending make the headlines.

. . .

In fact, consumption expenditures vary the least as economies go through booms and busts. The component with the greatest variation is private sector investment. If anything is needed during a recovery, it is more investment by the private sector, not more consumption.

. . .

The heart of the fallacy, however, is that consumption consumes things! When we consume goods and services, we destroy their value by using them up. Consuming food does not create anything valuable, it eliminates something valuable.

Excellent work. Read it.

Amazon Executives Face NYC Protesters and Legislators

“We have a crumbling subway system, record homelessness, public housing that is in crisis, overcrowded schools, sick people without health insurance and an escalating affordable crisis,” said City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, a Democrat.

All those local issues, in one of the highest taxing and spending states in the U.S. Why is that so? And a proud progressive city and state to boot:

State Assemblyman Ron Kim, a Queens Democrat, told protesters rallying on the steps of City Hall before the hearing, ” Any politician in our progressive city and our state who’s willing to had $3 billion to Amazon — that should be a career ender right there.”

It would be funny if it weren’t so sad.

Whole thing here.