The Bolshevik plague that began in Russia was the greatest catastrophe in human history.
Armed Bolsheviks seized the Winter Palace in Petrograd—now St. Petersburg—100 years ago this week and arrested ministers of Russia’s provisional government. They set in motion a chain of events that would kill millions and inflict a near-fatal wound on Western civilization.
Although the Bolsheviks called for the abolition of private property, their real goal was spiritual: to translate Marxist-Leninist ideology into reality. For the first time, a state was created that was based explicitly on atheism and claimed infallibility. This was totally incompatible with Western civilization, which presumes the existence of a higher power over and above society and the state.
The Bolshevik coup had two consequences. In countries where communism came to hold sway, it hollowed out society’s moral core, degrading the individual and turning him into a cog in the machinery of the state. Communists committed murder on such a scale as to all but eliminate the value of life and to destroy the individual conscience in survivors.
But the Bolsheviks’ influence was not limited to these countries. In the West, communism inverted society’s understanding of the source of its values, creating political confusion that persists to this day.
The Census Bureau fails to count two-thirds of all government transfer payments to households in the income numbers it uses to calculate not only poverty levels but also income inequality and income growth. In addition to not counting refundable tax credits, which are paid by checks from the U.S. Treasury, the official Census Bureau measure doesn’t count food stamps, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, rent subsidies, energy subsidies and health-insurance subsidies under the Affordable Care Act. In total, benefits provided in more than 100 other federal, state and local transfer payments aren’t counted by the Census Bureau as income to the recipients.
If the Census Bureau had included the missing $1.9 trillion in transfer payments, child poverty would have been only 3.2% in 2017, compared with the official rate of 17.5%. Government transfer payments that were distributed in 2017 had already cut child poverty by 82%.
It’s easy to portray compassion for a refugee or a welcoming hand for the economically disadvantaged as a signifier of moral values. But the scales of virtue must balance, and it isn’t simply a case of administrative incompetence but an act of abject moral failure by a government to fail to secure its borders.
There is no higher obligation for a sovereign power to its own people. The reckless toleration of the entry of hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of illegal immigrants threatens a nation’s security, undermines its cohesion, interferes with its orderly economic and social functions. It places undue burdens on law-enforcement officers (against whom the president then issues casual calumnies) and actively undermines respect for the rule of law.
Her personal virtues are an antidote to our era’s self-promotion and social-virtue signaling.
Within the hour of her death, Queen Elizabeth II was praised by commentators from left to right for representing so many traditional values. Reserve, self-containment, duty, responsibility, modesty of demeanor, graciousness, civility, prudence, fortitude.
The U.S. Navy’s submarine fleet, America’s essential war-fighting instrument in the Indo-Pacific, is about three-fifths the size it should be, chiefly because of maintenance and production delays. This comes amid stepped-up threats to Taiwan by China.
Contesting such an assault would require a submarine force at maximum strength. Congress and the White House should act swiftly to integrate private shipyards that repair submarines into the Navy’s maintenance plans.
If there are fascists in America these days, they are apt to be found among the tribes of the left. … The evolution of their overprivileged emotions…has led them, in 2022, to embrace Mussolini’s formula: “All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.” Or against the party. (People forget, if they ever knew it, that both Hitler and Mussolini began as socialists). The state and the Democratic Party must speak and act as one, suppressing all dissent. America must conform to the orthodoxy—to the Chinese finger-traps of diversity-or-else and open borders… Meantime, their man in the White House invokes emergency powers to forgive student debt and their thinkers wonder whether the Constitution and the separation of powers are all they’re cracked up to be.
Mr. Trump and his followers, believe it or not, are essentially antifascists: They want the state to stand aside, to impose the least possible interference and allow market forces and entrepreneurial energies to work. Freedom isn’t fascism. Mr. Biden and his vast tribe are essentially enemies of freedom, although most of them haven’t thought the matter through. …. They desire maximum—that is, total—state or party control of all aspects of American life, including what people say and think. Seventy-four years after George Orwell wrote “1984,” such control (by way of surveillance cameras, social-media companies and the Internal Revenue Service, now to be shockingly augmented by 87,000 new employees) is entirely feasible. The left yearns for power and authoritarian order. It is Faust’s bargain; freedom is forfeit.
While foreign policy ‘realists’ urge detente with China and Russia, only strength ensures peace. The U.S. faces the most daunting security landscape in 45 years. That’s no coincidence. Earlier this year Russia launched the bloodiest armed conflict in Europe since World War II, and this summer China publicly displayed plans to strangle or swallow the…
Standing in contrast to these misdeeds are the records of three great Republican secretaries of state who shepherded American diplomacy during the middle and late phases of the Cold War: Henry Kissinger, George Shultz and James Baker III. Their successes were inextricable from their understanding of America as a nation-state, a worldview that put the needs of the U.S. above all else.
We find in these plans nothing short of a blueprint for an institutional overhaul—the anatomy of a diversity, equity, and inclusion takeover. Such a takeover will have obvious implications for education at the University of Tennessee. True education will erode. Indoctrination will flourish. These plans, moreover, reveal in extensive detail what an exhaustive diversity, equity, and inclusion program looks like. Thus, our report provides a case study in the rolling revolution under way in academia.
BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street effectively control each other—and their market competitors. The Clayton Act was made for situations like this.
Three of the largest investment shops in the U.S.—BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street—have long used their dominance in passive-investment funds to force corporations to comply with their preferred set of environmental, social and governance policies.
Real government transfer payments to the bottom 20% of household earners surged by 269% between 1967 and 2017, while middle-income households saw their real earnings after taxes rise by only 154% during the same period. That has largely equalized the income of the bottom 60% of Americans. This government-created equality has caused the labor-force participation rate to collapse among working-age people in low-income households and unleashed a populist realignment that is unraveling the coalition that has dominated American politics since the 1930s.
By and large, we do not believe that there are individuals with great ruling talent who “thirst and burn” to shatter the existing order for the sake of dominating others — individuals who have desires that make them a fundamentally different type of human being: animals of prey, a profoundly different human type from the rest of us. …Is Lincoln’s warning grounded in a timeless truth? Is it a truth alive today?
…The world has faced such a threat several times in the past 100 years but misunderstood it, underestimated it, and let it grow horribly out of control. We need only think of Stalin, Mao, and, of course, Hitler. Can we learn from this terrible history?
Specifically, are Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping just such individuals? They sit atop oligarchies. However, they now largely control the levers of power and use that power in a brutal and unified manner. Most of all, in word and deed, they seek to shatter the existing order and bring the world around them under their domination….
But little national-security analysis focuses on deterring an adversary’s most important power — its leader and leadership. Why not focus on the tyrant and the immediate circle around him? Isolate him and use some of the unique information and cyber power of our time to create suspicion, division, and contempt (the great acid that dissolves authority). In short, analyze the tyrant’s sources of power narrowly — money, respect, fear, key subordinates — and systematically strip them away.
The U.S. is running out of time to prevent a cataclysmic war in the Western Pacific. While the world has been focused on Vladimir Putin’s aggression in Ukraine, Xi Jinping appears to be preparing for an even more consequential onslaught against Taiwan. Mr. Xi’s China is fueled by a dangerous mix of strength and weakness: Faced with profound economic, demographic and strategic problems, it will be tempted to use its burgeoning military power to transform the existing order while it still has the opportunity.
Then as now, what drove higher prices was excess demand owing to runaway government spending. Ronald Reagan and Paul Volcker understood.
History withholds its wisdom from those who ignore its lessons. Forty years ago this month, the fiscal policy of President Ronald Reagan and the monetary policy of Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker broke the back of the 20th century’s most destructive inflation, ushered in an economic expansion that effectively lasted a quarter of a century, and banished inflation—until now.
…progressive intellectuals were passionate advocates of rule by disinterested experts led by a strong unifying leader. They were in favor of using the state to mold social institutions in the interests of the collective. They thought that individualism and the Constitution were both outmoded.
…we should start using “liberal” to designate the good guys on the left, reserving “progressive” for those who are enthusiastic about an unrestrained regulatory state, who think it’s just fine to subordinate the interests of individuals to large social projects, who cheer the president’s abuse of executive power and who have no problem rationalizing the stifling of dissent.
U.S. policy makers have lost sight of the crucial link between arms control and deterrence.
U.S. nuclear deterrence policy and U.S. nuclear arms-control policy have become dangerously disconnected.
Longstanding deterrence policy requires that the U.S. have sufficient capacity to target what potential enemy leaders value most. Arms control is supposed to augment deterrence by limiting, and if possible reducing, the threats while allowing the U.S. to deploy a force that deters an attack on America or our allies. The policies were tightly linked throughout the closing decades of the Cold War, providing the U.S. and its allies with a credible deterrent …
Working Americans sense that taxes and transfers now leave them little better off than those who work less.
An article on…the most comprehensive accounting to date of how taxes and government payments affect income distribution in the U.S. …The most surprising finding is the astonishing degree of equality among the bottom 60% of American earners, generated in part by the explosion of social-welfare spending…
If innovation is the primary driver of growth, and the most productive workers are the primary drivers of innovation, doubling the number of workers who currently represent the top 5% of America’s talent could double the U.S. growth rate. America has 125 million full-time workers, so the top 5% is just over six million. The U.S. currently issues a million green cards a year. By targeting the most talented would-be immigrants, the U.S. could double its high-productivity pool in short order.
The risks of American hesitancy are growing every day—and aren’t confined to Europe. The Biden administration’s reluctance to provide Ukraine with more sophisticated weapons critical to its defense comes at a high cost. Russia now controls a quarter of Ukraine and is gradually pushing westward. If the U.S. fails to change its policy, Russia will…
Support for Ukraine can dovetail with these priorities, however. Investing in defense production capacity and weapons stockpiles can help shore up U.S. deterrence in Taiwan and elsewhere—convincing states looking for a quick win that the U.S. is willing and prepared to sustain support for the long-term. That message will be especially important as the U.S. balances both a rising China and a revisionist Russia. Moreover, the U.S. can draw on its history, as it has successfully surged its economy to support wartime weapons production in the past: The U.S. “arsenal of democracy” was a key factor in the Allies’ victory in World War II.
The U.S. can support Ukraine through its war of attrition with Russia. But to do so, it will need to make significant reforms to its defense acquisition and production policies. Those changes will have to happen fast, because Ukraine might not have “as long as it takes” to survive.
Students’ personal choices matter. And so do the choices made by the education reform movement, which was steadfastly unwilling to address or even acknowledge the role that family structure and stability plays in students’ life outcomes. If a child in poverty graduates from high school, finds full-time employment, gets married, and has children, in that order, Rowe tirelessly pointed out—citing a pattern well-established in social science that’s often referred to as the “Success Sequence”—the chance they will remain in poverty as an adult drops to a mere 2 percent. “There is no public policy that comes even close to those kinds of results,” ….
Researchers gave cash to low-income people. It led them to spend more and work less.
Did pandemic stimulus payments harm lower-income Americans? That’s the implication of a new study by social scientists at Harvard and the University of Exeter.
Liberals argue that no-strings-attached handouts encourage better financial decisions and healthier lifestyles. The theory is that low-income folks become more future-oriented if they’re less stressed about making ends meet. The Harvard study put this hypothesis to the test and found the opposite.
The Federal Reserve’s policies of increasing interest rates and quantitative tightening—reducing its $8.9 trillion balance sheet—will increase the volume and cost of federal government borrowing, slamming the federal budget and exposing the consequences of decades of deficit spending.
Total federal gross interest cost over the 12 months ending on May 31 was $666 billion. If we include the impending extra interest on Treasury bills and the maturing notes, that figure rises to $863 billion. This is a staggering cost. National military spending was $746 billion over the past 12 months; Medicare spending was $700 billion.
A great mind exposes ideological illusions, while thinking through better alternatives.
The following are excerpts from essays that appeared in The Wall Street Journal by Irving Kristol, who died yesterday at age 89. An editorial on his legacy appears nearby.
At the beginning of the 21st century, the world seemed more peaceful and American power more solidly entrenched than ever before. Twenty-two years into the new century, Americans face the most threatening international environment since the darkest days of the Cold War. The war in Ukraine threatens the post-Cold War order in Europe. Iran is well on its way to a nuclear bomb, and China’s shadow looms larger than ever over Taiwan.
There is a third way: a view of human opportunity simultaneously more practical and more optimistic than our current alternatives. I call it agency.
For me, the essence of agency goes beyond one’s capacity simply to do or achieve (how we often think of it). Agency is not free will alone. Rather, agency is the force of your free will, guided by moral discernment.
Agency is the character-based strength that young people can tap into as a source of morally directed power, and our children do not achieve this by themselves. Young people do not typically find success or meaning in isolation; they need social support from vibrant, well-functioning, mediating structures: families, schools, houses of worship, nonprofit organizations, and community groups.
Colleges need to be accredited; state universities answer to governing boards. Accrediting agencies and governing boards are created through a political process. What if voters were to insist that those agencies demand answers to some elementary questions? For example: How can a department of political science that excludes half the spectrum of viable political ideas be competent to offer degrees in the field? How can a history curriculum be taught competently when only one extremist attitude to social and political questions is present in a department? How can a campus humanities faculty with the same limitation teach competently? How can these extraordinary deficiencies deserve either accreditation, or support by state and federal funds?
TSMC manufactures 92% of the advanced semiconductors necessary for every smartphone, laptop and ballistic missile. U.S. firms such as Nvidia, Qualcomm and Apple outsource almost all their manufacturing to Taiwan. If Taiwan’s chip manufacturing capacity went offline or fell into China’s hands, America’s technology sector would be devastated.
Since the majority of these articles are from the Wall Street Journal, especially the editorial page, it seems appropriate to include on the site these reports to readers.
John Cochrane interview When debt grows so much that people don’t believe the Treasury will pay it, they sell their bonds and buy other things, sending prices through the roof. Annual inflation in the U.S. rose to 7.5% in January, the highest it’s been since February 1982, when it was 7.6% and declining. This current…
This essay is adapted from an address presented by Mr. Novak at Westminster Abbey on May 5, 1994. He is the twenty-fourth recipient of The Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion.
As we draw near the close of the twentieth century, we owe ourselves a reckoning.
This century was history’s bloodiest. From this revered and mortally threatened Abbey some fifty years ago, one could hear the screech of falling bombs. At a time they didn’t choose, and in a way they didn’t foresee, more than a hundred million persons in Europe found their lives brutally taken from them. An earlier Templeton laureate, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, has agreed that, beyond the war dead, 66 million prisoners perished in the Soviet labor camps. Add the scores of millions dead in Asia, Africa, and the other continents since 1900.
Nor is there any guarantee that the twenty-first century will not be bloodier.
And yet the world has drawn four painful lessons from the ashes of our century. First, even under conditions of nihilism, better than cowardice is fidelity to truth. From fidelity to truth, inner liberty is wrested.
Washington might study Cold War-era practices that had a major effect on Soviet policy making. Russia conducted its first test of the Sarmat, an intercontinental ballistic missile that carries a heavy nuclear payload, on April 20. Vladimir Putin and his advisers have issued nuclear warnings throughout the war in Ukraine, threatening the U.S. and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization…
A Russian general lifts the veil on Putin’s plans to grab Ukraine’s south. As Russia consolidates its forces for an offensive in Ukraine’s east, the temptation is to think the stakes have shrunk for NATO and the West after Russia lost the battle of Kyiv. But Vladimir Putin can still win a major victory that would leave…
Biden wants to kill a cruise missile needed to deter Russia and others. Vladimir Putin has made veiled threats about using nuclear weapons in Ukraine, and the Biden Administration says it is worried. This makes it all the more puzzling that President Biden is canceling a new weapon that would be a nuclear deterrent. The latest…
By Seth Cropsey – Nov. 2, 2021
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‘Strategic ambiguity” is the longstanding U.S. policy toward Taiwan, but President Biden’s approach has been more ambiguous than strategic. Asked at an Oct. 21 town hall whether he would defend the island nation against a Chinese attack, Mr. Biden replied, “Yes, we have a commitment to do that.” The White House then “clarified” his answer by reasserting its commitment to ambiguity.
All this begs the question: What should the U.S. do in defense of Taiwan? And it raises a broader one: What should the U.S. do to counter China’s military challenge?
By Seth Cropsey – March 9, 2022
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The Russian invasion of Ukraine has inaugurated a new era of political competition but not a new cold war. The American people and their leaders need to prepare for a new kind of geopolitical competition—more intense, more dangerous and more aggressive than anything since World War II. Bismarck, Metternich and Louis XIV’s world of unrestrained power to achieve national objectives is back. And while the immediate threat is Russia, the more formidable one is China.
If the U.S. response to the invasion of Ukraine is purposeful, creative and wise, Putin’s campaign will ultimately fail. Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin has claimed his place in history. Not since Hitler attacked the Soviet Union in 1941 has a European leader committed an act of aggression as brutal or as nakedly cynical as Mr. Putin’s…
The U.S. and Europe should target his political control at home in Russia. Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine early Thursday marks the failure of Western deterrence and a return to the age of authoritarian conquest. Now we’ll see if Europe and the U.S. awaken from their illusions of eternal post-Cold War peace and security to…
This report, intended primarily for civics reformers considering how best to defend and improve traditional American civics education, surveys a selection of different civics offerings, both the traditional and the radical. Surveyed providers include organizations such as the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life, We the People, and Hillsdale College’s 1776 Curriculum. The report assesses both how they approach civics education and their ideological content. The report will also judge each organization’s effectiveness—although no one knows exactly what is being taught in each classroom in America, much less precisely what students take from their education. Finally, it will provide recommendations about how civics reformers should build upon this existing array of civics curriculum resources to work most effectively to reclaim America’s civics education.
The subject of this report is K–12 civics education, but the organizations it inventories include several devoted to undergraduate education and national politics. These organizations, and their tactics, form the regulations and the personnel of the educational establishment. They act with great effect on K–12 civics education, even when they do not provide textbooks and lesson plans.
The report includes summary judgments of the true academic level of several K–12 civics resources. Most resources that claim to be for high-school students are at best at a ninth-grade level, often a middle-school one. The simplest way to substantiate this judgment is to say that Hillsdale College’s 1776 Curriculum provides lesson plans aimed for intelligent, curious twelfth-grade students, and that no other institution provides curriculum anywhere near Hillsdale’s level.
After watching 100 hours of leaked video, we now fully grasp the danger of this ideology in schools. Last spring we exposed how two elite independent schools in New York had become corrupted by a divisive obsession with race, helping start the national movement against critical race theory. Schools apply this theory under the guise of diversity, equity and…
A critical achievement of modern civilization may rest on the fate of these two small countries, in danger of being swallowed by imperial neighbors. Russia wants to absorb Ukraine and rule its people. China wants to absorb Taiwan and rule its people. The two powers isolate and degrade their much smaller neighbors at every turn…
Copyright @ 2022 The Hill Russian mechanized forces now rolling into Belarus directly threaten NATO, not just Ukraine. The U.S. and its allies are rightly focused on obvious Russian preparations to invade Ukraine and on trying to deter Moscow. Russian troops moving into positions in southeastern Belarus could be preparing to invade, and the West…
This is one of many issues of appalling ideology currently demolishing the universities and, downstream, the general culture. …. This has been common knowledge among any remotely truthful academic who has served on a hiring committee for the last three decades. This means we’re out to produce a generation of researchers utterly unqualified for the job. And we’ve seen what that means already in the horrible grievance studies “disciplines.” That, combined with the death of objective testing, has compromised the universities so badly that it can hardly be overstated. And what happens in the universities eventually colours everything. As we have discovered.
These aren’t mere regional hot spots, as Russia and China work together to upend world order. A crisis may be imminent in Ukraine as Vladimir Putin gathers troops on the Russian border for a possible invasion. American policy makers have also begun focusing on a potential conflict in Taiwan, one that is coming to a boil…
The ‘equally worthy claim’ inexorably prompts further expansion, regardless of lawmakers’ initial limits. Sen. Joe Manchin’s emphatic “no” to the current version of Build Back Better put the bill on life support. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, having promised a Senate vote, now must try to maintain the bill’s progressive priorities—including a raft of new and…
The central bank can’t deliver price stability if it’s distracted by climate change and social justice. During Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s reconfirmation hearing last week, there was an understandable focus on inflation. Led by Republican Sen. Pat Toomey, several senators expressed concerns that politicization of the Fed is hampering its effectiveness in dealing with inflation and…
His Ukraine gambit is ultimately about enlisting the West in a scheme to prop up his rule. Good things come to strong, successful nations. Neighbors crave closer ties. Allies don’t object to being part of a “sphere of influence.” Vladimir Putin has given his neighboring peoples only reasons to run away from him. They wouldn’t clamor…
Voters have the sense to resist notions like critical race theory. A generation from now, they may not. Only a few years ago, several well-established features of the current political landscape were too absurd to be taken seriously. Defunding the police was a ridiculous idea; critical race theory would be a giant step backward in…
What I want to fix your attention on is the vast, overall movement towards the discrediting, and finally the elimination, of every kind of human excellence – moral, cultural, social, or intellectual. And is it not pretty to notice how “democracy” (in the incantatory sense) is now doing for us the work that was once done by the most ancient Dictatorships, and by the same methods? You remember how one of the Greek Dictators (they called them “tyrants” then) sent an envoy to another Dictator to ask his advice about the principles of government. The second Dictator led the envoy into a field of grain, and there he snicked off with his cane the top of every stalk that rose an inch or so above the general level. The moral was plain. Allow no preeminence among your subjects. Let no man live who is wiser or better or more famous or even handsomer than the mass. Cut them all down to a level: all slaves, all ciphers, all nobodies. All equals. Thus Tyrants could practise, in a sense, “democracy.” But now “democracy” can do the same work without any tyranny other than her own. No one need now go through the field with a cane. The little stalks will now of themselves bite the tops off the big ones.
No fancy stuff. Raise rates via open-market operations that reduce the size of the balance sheet. The good news is that the Federal Reserve now recognizes that persistent high inflation threatens to overshadow the prospects for real economic growth. The bad news is that the Fed plans to continue buying Treasury debt and mortgage-backed securities…
Populist proposals would punish the companies competing with Beijing on AI and quantum. Few issues unite both sides of the political divide more than anger at U.S. tech companies, whether for censorship of conservative viewpoints or for failing to counter misinformation online. In response to these concerns, legislation introduced in Congress would weaken the U.S.…
In the defining geopolitical contest of this century, the U.S. is a superpower without a plan. The last two presidents have declared that our country is engaged in a historic competition with China—one that will shape the world order and the fate of human freedom. But neither Donald Trump nor Joe Biden has publicly explained…
While illegal immigration dominates the discussion of immigration reform in Washington, it is only part of the larger challenge of reforming America’s system of legal entry and immigration. The US immigration system is poorly designed to meet the needs of a 21st century economy. In particular, the current system fails to provide adequate opportunities for well-educated and highly skilled immigrants to join the US workforce to spur innovation, output, and job creation.
Editor’s Note: Writing in The National Interest, Michael O’Hanlon warns that “a promise by America to defend Taiwan does not mean that it could defend it…The most promising strategy would center on all-out economic warfare against China. The United States should cut off all trade with China at the outset of any such war, and pressure U.S.…
To change Beijing’s calculus, arm Taipei with missiles and turn the island into a ‘porcupine.’ The fall of Afghanistan and the chaotic American withdrawal have been a propaganda windfall for autocrats across the world. Nowhere has the perception of American weakness been more trumpeted than in China, where state media outlets run predictions of American…
How can we stop politicians from so casually lying to their stockholders (you and me) for their own short-term political benefit and to the country’s long-term financial detriment? What’s needed is the equivalent of the reforms forced on corporations 140 years ago.
One justification for the Federal Reserve is to keep the power to print money out of the hands of politicians. A Federal Accounting Board would keep the power to cook the books out of their hands as well. Like the Fed, it would be run by a board of seven members, all professional accountants of long experience, serving 14-year terms. They could be removed only for cause. One member would be appointed chairman, serving a four-year term.
The board would take over the duties of the Congressional Budget Office, and the White House Office of Management and Budget would be reduced to formulating the annual budget. The board would estimate future revenue and the costs of all legislation. It would also set the rules for how the federal books must be kept (no calling borrowed money “income”), and would determine if they are accurate and complete, as a CPA does for corporate books.
America is a nation of immigrants, but we’re also a nation of laws, and the U.S. immigration system should respect both traditions. Unfortunately, the Senate immigration bill undermines the rule of law without solving the country’s illegal-immigration problem, and it will harm American workers. The House of Representatives will reject any proposal with the Senate bill’s irreparably flawed structure, which is best described as: legalization first, enforcement later . . . maybe.
This basic design flaw repeats the mistake of the 1986 amnesty law, which, according to former Attorney General Edwin Meese, President Reagan considered the biggest mistake of his presidency. The Senate bill ensures, as did the 1986 law, that we’ll have full legalization but little-to-no enforcement.
Beijing is adding warheads, missiles and subs at an alarming rate. The goal is global dominance. The military threat from Beijing is accelerating at a pace few anticipated. Recently released satellite imagery shows that China is rapidly constructing nearly 300 hardened underground silos in its western desert to house intercontinental ballistic missiles. Also unexpected was…
In his quest for personal power, he’s rejected Deng Xiaoping’s economic reform path and turned the Communist Party into an assemblage of yes-men. Xi Jinping, the ruler of China, suffers from several internal inconsistencies which greatly reduce the cohesion and effectiveness of his leadership. There is a conflict between his beliefs and his actions…
Victory came quickly to the CIA and special forces in October 2001. Then the mission changed to a self-defeating invasion. The tragedy of the U.S. retreat from Afghanistan is that days after 9/11, President George W. Bush had settled on a plan based on principles that could have ensured enduring success. Remarkably, the Pentagon had…
Taxes haven’t gone up yet, but inflation and lost productivity amount to financial repression. It’s a $4.5 trillion week in Washington. Between the infrastructure and reconciliation bills in various stages of debate, it’s worth discussing in some depth how all this will be paid for. Government spending is conventionally understood as a matter of increased…
China may invade Taiwan within six years, admirals warn. Is the U.S. ready? The Chinese military will likely attack Taiwan within six years, Adm. Phil Davidson, commander of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, told Congress in March, just before retiring from the Navy. More generally, he said, Beijing’s long-term objective—supplanting the U.S. and remaking the global order…
Our nation’s central bank has become too prominent, too political and too powerful.
The Fed’s ability to purchase massive quantities of U.S. Treasury securities is the dominant factor influencing interest rates across the board and thus the valuation of financial assets. The entire term structure of bond yields reflecting the relationship between short-term and long-term rates is keyed to the 10-year Treasury note rate. What would that benchmark yield reveal if Fed purchases weren’t distorting the market?
The Fed’s prominence not only undermines supply-and-demand interactions for accurately pricing the cost of investment capital; it also compromises the relationship between fiscal and monetary policy. The Fed’s accommodation of deficit spending by lawmakers poses a conflict of interest with political implications. Besides ensuring that the government’s interest expense for servicing debt is reduced, the Fed remits back to Treasury the earnings on its own holdings.
Beijing will push for more sway in Pakistan; Moscow will try in Central Asia’s former Soviet republics. America’s retreat from Afghanistan is ending tragically—and that has sweeping strategic implications. One major misjudgment underlying the “ending endless wars” mantra was that withdrawing affected only Afghanistan. To the contrary, the departure constitutes a major, and deeply regrettable,…
Parents are appalled by the reduction of American history to an endless exercise in identity politics and moral accusation. They fear that the study of the American past — rather than providing the young with a sense of something larger than themselves — has become something deeply negative: a way of separating us from our past and a weapon used to sow shame and resentment, and even hatred and despair, in the hearts of tomorrow’s citizens.
This is a recipe for disaster. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
Good, honest curriculum is not only possible; it’s come to pass.
SUMMARY H.R. 1 would federalize and micromanage the election process administered by the states, imposing unnecessary, unwise, and unconstitutional mandates on the states and reversing the decentralization of the American election process—which is essential to the protection of our liberty and freedom. It would (among other things) implement nationwide the worst changes in election rules…
Yet both the economic vulnerability and geopolitical risk are more acute than that picture makes it appear. A single company in Taiwan, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. , makes almost all of the world’s most sophisticated chips. It is the world’s most important semiconductor company, and its 11th most valuable one.
And what if that Taiwanese company becomes a Chinese company? Chinese President Xi Jinping this month repeated his intention to complete “reunification” with Taiwan, and the head of U.S. forces in the Pacific recently warned China could invade Taiwan by 2027 to do exactly that. While other military leaders don’t think the Chinese timetable for action is that aggressive, a takeover of Taiwan would put China in an overwhelmingly dominant position in the semiconductor business, at a time when computer chips are becoming a strategic commodity just as important as oil became in the 1970s and 1980s.
In short, the specter of semiconductor dominance could provide China an added incentive to move on Taiwan, and the U.S. an added incentive to stop China from doing so. It’s no exaggeration to say that semiconductors have the potential to cause international tension and turmoil—and even, in an extreme scenario, war.
A short lesson in basic economics
China’s large-scale military buildup, regional coercion, and economic aggression are part of plan for global domination, experts told Congress on Thursday.
The nuclear and conventional weapons buildup, militarization of islets in the South China Sea and global infrastructure investments aimed at controlling nations are signs Beijing has emerged as America’s most significant national security challenge, a panel of specialists told a hearing of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
“The Chinese Communist Party is engaged in a total, protracted struggle for regional and global supremacy,” retired Navy Capt. Jim Fanell, a former Pacific Fleet intelligence chief told the committee.
Why can’t we just let people in? It’s a reasonable question. Anyone who has never lived in a corrupt country with no rule of law, unsafe drinking water, foul air and few opportunities to escape poverty may find it hard to fathom the desperation that drives millions to strike out for the United States.
Understanding how attractive life in America is to the 1.5 million legal and illegal aliens who arrive on these shores every year is vital to understanding why strict immigration enforcement is a necessary evil. How many might come if we loosened or even removed visa restrictions?
The annual lottery received more than 40 million applications from around the world from 2013-15, including more than a million each from Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Nepal, Sierra Leone, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. More than 1.7 million Ghanaians played the lottery last year.
…But one thing is clear: Because the Declaration of Independence—the founding document of the American liberal order—is a product of Enlightenment rationalism, a doctrine that rejects the Enlightenment tacitly requires deconstructing the American order and rebuilding it on an entirely different foundation.
The federal government’s system of entitlements is the largest money-shuffling machine in human history, and President Biden intends to make it a lot bigger. His American Families Plan—which he recently attempted to tie to a bipartisan infrastructure deal—proposes to extend the reach of federal entitlements to 21 million additional Americans, the largest expansion since Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society.
For the first time in U.S. history…more than half of working-age households would be on the entitlement rolls if the plan were enacted in its current form. Contrary to Mr. Biden’s assertion that his plan “doesn’t add a single penny to our deficits,” his plan would add more than $1 trillion to the national debt over the next decade.
Sen. Joe Manchin’s public support Sunday for at least $2 trillion in new spending in a partisan budget bill is a huge win for the political left. This means a giant tax-and-spend bill this year is likely, and the biggest expansion of the entitlement state since the 1960s is now possible.
The entitlements are by far the biggest long-term economic threat from the Biden agenda. Tax increases can be repealed by a future Congress. Spending on infrastructure will slow as funding falls. The courts may block his racial preferences. But entitlements that spend automatically based on eligibility are nearly impossible to repeal, or even reform, and they represent a huge tax-and-spend wedge far into the future.
The media won’t talk about this, and Republicans are so far missing in action. But Americans need to understand the stakes.
Critical race theory is the latest battleground in the culture war. Since the murder of George Floyd last year, critical race theory’s key concepts, including “systemic racism,” “white privilege,” and “white fragility,” have become ubiquitous in America’s elite institutions. Progressive politicians have sought to implement “antiracist” policies to reduce racial disparities, such as minorities-only income…
Interview with Vivek Ramaswamy
How and why corporate America discovered and embraced “Wokeism” and suggested remedies – selected passages, underlines added
The Fed should change its policy regime. It should stop buying mortgage securities immediately. Soon after, it should slow its purchases of Treasury debt. It should not tolerate Fed-financed fiscal expansion. It should unlock the handcuffs imposed by its novel doctrine and render an informed and humble judgment on the state of the economy and the attendant risks to the outlook.
An equity-based form of government would mean the end not only of private property, but also of individual rights, equality under the law, federalism, and freedom of speech. These would be replaced by race-based redistribution of wealth, group-based rights, active discrimination, and omnipotent bureaucratic authority. Historically, the accusation of “anti-Americanism” has been overused. But in this case, it’s not a matter of interpretation—critical race theory prescribes a revolutionary program that would overturn the principles of the Declaration and destroy the remaining structure of the Constitution.
Imprimis is produced by Hillsdale College and consists of wonderful articles on critical issues (arranged by topic in right navigation column) adapted from speeches given at Hillsdale. Click here to access
Critical race theory is fast becoming America’s new institutional orthodoxy. Yet most Americans have never heard of it—and of those who have, many don’t understand it. It’s time for this to change. We need to know what it is so we can know how to fight it.
Would the IRS violate your privacy to further Democratic policy objectives?….The lesson is that Republicans must realize that Democrats are no longer their only political foe. They face an equally potent and dangerous federal bureaucracy—committed to destroying GOP officials and propelling a liberal agenda.
The International Energy Agency exposes the hidden environmental costs and infeasibility of going green. The International Energy Agency, the world’s pre-eminent source of energy information for governments, has entered the political debate over whether the U.S. should spend trillions of dollars to accelerate the energy transition favored by the Biden administration. You know, the plan…
The progressive hits keep coming from the Biden Administration, and the latest is the $1.8 trillion American Families Plan introduced in broad strokes on Wednesday. It’s more accurate to call this the plan to make the middle class dependent on government from cradle to grave. The government will tell you sometime later, after you’re hooked to the state, how it will force you to pay for it.
The U.S. Navy is at sea, figuratively as well as literally. It has 101 ships deployed around the world—the same number as during the Cold War—yet the entire fleet is only 297 vessels strong. That’s about half the Reagan-era level of nearly 600…
The figurative sense in which the Navy is at sea is more important and more dangerous. The fleet doesn’t have enough ships to meet global commitments, even as the U.S. faces growing naval competition from China, Russia, Iran and North Korea. Each of these potential adversaries possesses missiles and aircraft whose sole purpose is to keep U.S. naval forces at bay. Sixty-four percent of China’s maritime trade and 40% of its overall trade flows through the South China Sea, through which U.S. naval ships sail regularly.
Were hostilities to break out between China and the U.S., the conflict would be a naval one. It would test the U.S. ability to move naval and amphibious forces across the 7,000-mile Pacific moat in time to assist American allies and partners, deny China’s use of the shipping lanes between it and the Middle East, and operate effectively to command the South China, East China and Yellow seas. The Chinese Navy would be a formidable foe. It has long-range missiles, a nascent aircraft-carrier force and increasingly modern ships and weapons of all categories, as well as cyber and space capabilities….
The U.S. economy clearly has the power to iron out the natural problems of restarting production, but the very nature of the subsidies in the $6 trillion Biden administration stimulus, relief and infrastructure bills constrain production. In its modern incarnation, socialism denies that government incentives and constraints have anything to do with people’s decisions to work, save and invest. Experience teaches otherwise.
The clearest example is the federal supplement to unemployment payments. The federal payments have made not working a viable or even preferred option to working. And it isn’t only excessive jobless compensation…
A day does not go by without news of some skirmish in the fierce ongoing battle to determine whether colleges and universities will hold fast to academic freedom and intellectual diversity as the catalysts of progress. Will our centers of higher learning be home to diverse theories and strategies, or will they take the illiberal path of deciding for faculty and students what they should believe?
A civil and unprejudiced campus is a priority for any academic community that is true to its purpose. But when a community of scholars and teachers, especially a famous and influential one, trades time-honored principles of free inquiry for reflexive and enforced social theories, it damages the broader social fabric.
The refrain is all too familiar: Widening income inequality is a fatal flaw in capitalism and an “existential” threat to democracy. From 1967 to 2017, income inequality in the U.S. spiked 21.4%, and everyone from U.S. senators to the pope says it’s an urgent problem. Yet the data upon which claims about income inequality are based are profoundly flawed.
We have shown on these pages that Census Bureau income data fail to count two-thirds of all government transfer payments—including Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps and some 100 other government transfer payments—as income to the recipients. Furthermore, census data fail to count taxes paid as income lost to the taxpayer. When official government data are used to correct these deficiencies—when income is defined the way people actually define it—“income inequality” is reduced dramatically.
Universal basic income is about to arrive in America. Congressional Democrats’ $1.9 trillion stimulus bill provides for no-strings attached checks, limited only to parents of children under 18. This UBI for parents is billed as pandemic relief, but its real purpose is to put a stake in the heart of work-based welfare reform.
Tribalism has turned toxic in the age of social media. Man is by nature a tribal creature. For many thousands of years, human existence was defined by family connections, with ties of blood and marriage providing the social network that ensured cooperation and support necessary to sustaining life. Loyalty to one’s kinship group — the…
Clinging to an emergency policy after the emergency has passed, Chairman Powell courts asset bubbles. With Covid uncertainty receding fast, and several quarters deep into the strongest recovery from any postwar recession, the Federal Reserve’s guidance continues to be the most accommodative on record, by a mile. Keeping emergency settings after the emergency has passed…
…the world’s oldest constitutional democracy is in grave danger. We stand at a crossroads, called to protect this democracy and to work toward unity. Current and future generations will look back to examine how we chose to act, and why.
A key part of our task is to reinvigorate teaching and learning of American history and civics in our nation’s schools. A constitutional democracy requires a citizenry that has a desire to participate, and an understanding of how to do so constructively…
The larger truth is that the people who control America’s leading cultural institutions and now its government have been eagerly manufacturing ideological rope for the Chinese hangman, and they’ve stepped up production over the past year.
The intellectual movement to which they subscribe has been the force behind the planned destruction—figuratively and literally—of the principal pillars of America’s authority in the world: the idea that the greatest nation on the planet was founded on universal ideals of human freedom and dignity. Instead, it insists, like those Chinese Communists, that all along this claim to a unique status in the world has been a fraud, mere sloganeering behind which America has been—and remains—a force for repression and exploitation.
How can a nation prevail in a global ideological struggle when its leaders believe its values are intrinsically evil?
SELECTED PASSAGES … ‘Death to America!” is a common refrain from antifa rioters from Portland, Ore., to Kenosha, Wis. … Neither political party has been willing or able to end this anarchy. Extremism becomes more entrenched in American politics with each passing day. These acts of violence encapsulate five decades of neo-Marxist indoctrination in American schools,…
SELECTED PASSAGES …Somewhere between the rise of cable news and social media, our shared sense of reality splintered. We live in an era of endless political narratives, in which the phrase “my truth” is supposed to be taken seriously. .. Americans today cannot agree on the existence of facts, let alone what the facts are.…
In 1951, six years after the end of World War II, the political philosopher Hannah Arendt published The Origins of Totalitarianism, in an attempt to understand how such radical ideologies of both left and right had seized the minds of so many in the 20th century. Arendt’s book used to be a staple in college history and political theory courses. With the end of the Cold War 30 years behind us, who today talks about totalitarianism? Almost no one—and if they do, it’s about Nazism, not communism.
Unsurprisingly, young Americans suffer from profound ignorance of what communism was, and is. The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, a nonprofit educational and research organization established by the U.S. Congress, carries out an annual survey of Americans to determine their attitudes toward communism, socialism, and Marxism in general. In 2019, the survey found that a startling number of Americans of the post-Cold War generations have favorable views of left-wing radicalism, and only 57 percent of Millennials believe that the Declaration of Independence offers a better guarantee of “freedom and equality” than The Communist Manifesto.
From the birth of the modern conservative movement, dissidents concerned with civic and liberal education have tried almost everything to reshape America’s universities: from refusing to donate to their alma maters (as William F. Buckley prescribed), to funding tenure-track positions, forming independent centers on campuses to host outside speakers, organizing external supplementary seminars to make…
SELECTED PASSAGES …But progressives have begun to describe the country that existed before the 1960s as not just flawed but outright illegitimate—and Democrats are following their lead. In this view, the civil rights movement wasn’t just a reform but a refounding. That is what makes the anointing of John Lewis as a “Founding Father” …so…
SELECTED PASSAGES … The American public is right to question the growing power of large corporations, but Congress misses the point by viewing this problem solely through the lens of antitrust.… Companies like Apple, Alphabet, Facebook and Amazon provide consumers with a wider …Facebook’s social networks and Google’s search engines are free to users. …But…
SELECTED PASSAGES Czesław Miłosz…wrote, “The Captive Mind… in 1953, to warn the West of what happens to the human mind and soul in a totalitarian system. Miłosz knew from experience, having lived through the Communist takeover, how totalitarianism strips men and women of their liberty, transforming them into “affirmative cogs” in service of the state…
SELECTED PASSAGES …At the end of the 20th century, the U.S. had won World War II and the Cold War, liberated half the planet from history’s most dehumanizing ideologies, advanced a free-market capitalism that had led more humans out of poverty than any economic system ever devised, and given the world the richest bounty of…
Two phenomena corroding self-governance and liberty are the unchecked and metastasizing agencies of the executive branch, and the shameful abdication of responsibility by our elected representatives.
The only alternative to Imperial rule from DC is self-governance within the Federalist system.
American Marxists call themselves progressives, democratic socialists, social activists, community activists, etc….They claim to promote economic justice, environmental justice, racial equity, gender equity…They claim the dominant culture and capitalist system are unjust, inequitable, racist and sexist…The aim is to undermine the citizenry’s confidence in the nation’s institutions and traditions, weakening the nation from within, and destroying American republicanism and capitalism.
They occupy our colleges and universities, newsrooms and social media, entertainment and boardrooms, and their ideas are increasingly influential within the Democratic Party. Their influence pervades teacher training and classroom curriculum throughout America’s public school system. They use propaganda and indoctrination, and demand conformity through cancel culture, etc. to destroy reputations and careers. They censor and ban patriotic and contrary viewpoints on social media. They attack academic freedom and intellectual diversity in higher education.
Introduction The political purpose of identity politics is to divide the country into groups as a strategy to change America completely. Identity politics sees people’s beliefs and interests as determined by their membership in specific groups, particularly sex, race, sexual orientation, and disability status. It is an enemy of reason and Enlightenment values. Identity politics…
Humans have an innate moral sense. How we use it depends on the environment we grow up in and how we define morality. The desire for unity and distrust of strangers are universal human tendencies. Of all systems ever created that actually increases trust and cooperation among strangers none has been as successful as the market. The market lowers the level of distrust by letting very different peoples and cultures find common interest. Him… Ideology flows from human nature… and refining the definition of evil is the very essence of what civilizations do
Laws are fundamental to the concept of society, and the principal differences among all societies are in the laws by which they function. By the 18th century, concepts of individual rights and laws to protect them were being developed. David Hume wrote A Treatise Of Human Nature in 1739, and John Locke in his Second Treatise On Government said that all men are endowed by a supreme being with natural rights which include life, liberty, and property and that governments are instituted for the purpose of protecting and advancing those rights
Among liberal democracies, Americans are by far the most patriotic people and America has the most robust and creative civil society. …A majority now believes that big government is the biggest future threat to the country. In the 1950’s, the vast majority of Americans trusted the federal government to do the right thing in most instances, today only a tiny minority do. Today the public views the federal government as a chronically clumsy, ineffectual and bloated giant that can’t be counted on to the do the right thing much less do it well
America’s success is heavily dependent on its bedrock of political, social, and economic institutions – a free market democracy with secure personal freedoms and property rights. The real secret to its extraordinary success is human capital. …Given the indispensable role of government in generating human capital it matters a great deal how, specifically, government executes that role. Education, productivity, and immigration are a country’s human capital tripod and government has a key role to play in each. Government support of education and basic research generates enormous benefits
Notes on BALANCE by Glenn Hubbard & Tim Kane The book is a review of the experience of great powers in world history and the political and economic lessons to be learned from studying them. Two thousand years ago, Rome was a stable and prosperous civilization. After 3 centuries of decline from the relentless stagnation…
The world of economics is deeply divided and inherently political. Advocates for stronger incentives for risk taking and those for income redistribution each work backward from their conclusions to find a set of indisputable beliefs on which to build their arguments. The economy is so complex that it is impossible to definitively isolate the effect of any one factor. This book attempts to explain how the economy works, why the U.S. has outperformed its high wage rivals, what caused the financial crisis, and what improvements might better protect our economy without damaging its growth
The preface cites Bloom’s, The Closing Of The American Mind, Kimball’s, Tenured Radicals, D’Souza’s, Illiberal Education, and Ellis’s, Against Deconstruction, all warning about the dangers of a radicalized campus being created by increasingly radical professors. “This book is of a different kind, since now the campus is already radicalized. …its purpose is to explain exactly what happened and what made it possible; to describe the damage done to all levels of education, ..and to our society; …and to suggest what can be done about this educational and societal catastrophe.”
Books contain the ideas, make the arguments, and preserve the history necessary for the maintenance and perpetuation of liberty. Reading the Right Books is a practical list of thoughtful and accessible books — not the “classics” but solidly good books — recommended to provide a general framework around which the reader can build a firmer…
Conservative Colleges and Universities
Hillsdale College has highly competent scholars teaching all the main academic subjects with particular emphasis on giving its students an honest understanding of American history and its founding principles and how they have influenced its development. Hillsdale has several initiatives in addition to providing an outstanding well-rounded undergraduate college education. They include very comprehensive selection…