Worth Reading December 14, 2021

JDQB recommends a deep article by Patrick Deneen of Notre Dame on how the left has changed from the optimistic pursuit of heaven on earth to a pessimistic conviction that nothing has gotten better or ever will because of irremediable racism and oppression.  Naturally, the Advent season is when we anticipate the remedy.

We (the editors) have largely steered away from the moral issue of abortion, not because of lack of strongly held views but to stay out of a debate to which we did not feel able to make a unique contribution.  Now the possibility of a decision to overturn Roe vs Wade will make abortion a front and center debate until it is rendered next year, so it is time to jump into the discussion of at least its legal and political consequences.  The New York Sun gives a start WDM likes, and it is along the lines of JDQB’s recent column on secession.

Then there is the point, made by a Loyola University Law professor, that no matter what Justice Sotomayor may think, objection to abortion is not only based on religious grounds.

Now to a few new examples of how news that conflicts with the woke world view does not appear.

WDM recommends several articles on how one-sided stories about racial aspects of crime have become.  Two articles document the blackout of news about crimes committed by blacks.  The unwillingness to recognize the apparent racial motivation of the attack in Waukesha — and calling it an event rather than an attack — is egregious, and it takes a courageous writer to comment on black on black homicide.

The Washington Times finally hits the media on its Waukesha coverage as hard as WDM thinks it deserves, while Heather McDonald does her thing on another aspect of the problem, unwillingness to call black parents responsible for their children’s crimes while prosecuting white parents.

And here is a story of a student who laid down his life for his friends in the Oxford, MI high school shooting that WDM did not see until receiving a tweet.  He supposes heroism is also a topic that liberal media will not report.  This report is even better.

JDQB recommends another discussion of the invincible ignorance of the liberal media by Matt Taibbi. 

Back to the perennial topic of hypocrisy, this time of political parties:

The Economist reveals that “Build Back Better” gives a $375 billion gift to the wealthiest taxpayers deeply blue states by removing the Trump limit on deductions of State and Local Income Taxes (SALT).  What else did we think taxpayers in high income circles and Blue states expect for support of Democrats?  SALT is the most regressive line in the tax code, giving over 92% of the benefit to the top 10% and 54% to the top 1% of taxpayers. And it shields high tax states from voter resistance to high taxes, by getting the Federal income tax system in effect to subsidize their tax collection.  Big win for California, New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts.  Not so much here with Governor Hogan.

Now to the economic news.  WDM wants to remind everyone that on February 16, 2021 he predicted massive inflation coming soon, and explained why.  It hit 6.8 percent for the 12 months ending November, the largest 12-month increase since the period ending June 1982.

WDM was also very impressed with the new and sound ideas in this article.  It gives both theory and evidence, from economists he trusts, that some of what we are calling inflation is partly the working out of a trend to bring manufacturing back to the US.  This raises costs of producing goods as well as prices of imports, and that takes a piece out of economic wellbeing somewhere.   It is reasonable to see that loss appearing as inflation, since it has to come home to households somehow, and suggests that some part of inflation will continue until we reach a new trade equilibrium.

Bloomberg reported that bonds of the Chinese builder Evergrande are trading at 20 cents on the dollar, and it has defaulted on recent interest payments.  WDM suggests that a default by Evergrande should be viewed as equivalent to a default on Chinese sovereign debt, given how closely Beijing is involved in supporting unsustainable businesses in China.  The intertwining of business and government in China makes a hard separation of government and business debt a fiction.  That makes it most likely that Evergrande will be bailed out. It would be a signal of a real sovereign debt crisis in China if it is not.  Of course, with the $2.6 trillion of mortgage backed securities still held by the Federal Reserve, we would be in a similar situation if those debts go bad.