Human Stupidity

We asked for workers. We got people instead.
Max Frisch

Socialism

Life is hard and it’s harder if one acts stupidly, a rule of practical wisdom one learns when growing old but one that some people never do. It points to something stronger working under the surface: human nature. Many wrong social, economic, and political decisions have been made under the enlightened belief that human nature doesn’t exist or that we have overcome it. From Rousseau’s belief in infinite human malleability, to Locke’s rejection of innate ideas, to Marx and humans being able to manipulate history. They all believed we are blank slates, virgin wax tablets on which those in power can inscribe anything they want. Humans as laboratory animals, or worse, because even the most evident failures don’t force the social engineers to accept their failure, as there is a chance next time they’ll get it right. When they tried socialism in Venezuela and it failed, it wasn’t real socialism, so they are going to try it again in Spain and maybe for the first time here in the USA:

Caracas is now the world’s most violent city. The people are starving and without medicine as inflation goes through the proverbial roof. The rich flee to Miami and the poor to Colombia. Venezuela is the shell of itself, a disaster area, currently close to the saddest story on Earth, given where it started. Meanwhile, with exquisite timing, our Democratic Party has found the solution to its woes —socialism! Er, excuse me, democratic socialism. We’re going to do it differently.

As one of my favorite texts ever reads:

There is no disillusionment for socialists. After every failed experiment, they recommence their work: the solution hasn’t been found yet, but it will be. The idea that no solution exists never occurs to them, and in this lies their strength. Ernest Renan, Histoire du Peuple d’Israel, Tome Troisième, Livre VI, Chapitre X. (circa 1890).

These self-appointed social engineers don’t know a thing about human nature and thus can’t get the success of practices that have demonstrated their utility for millennia. All they see is appearance, since capitalism was created by man it can be undone by man. But socialism is likely to fail time and time again because of this: Adam Ferguson, the founder of sociology, contemporary and friend of Adam Smith and David Hume and leading thinker of the Scottish Enlightenment, helped in the understanding of capitalism and markets as products of human action, but not of human design. He saw this as a third category of nature, besides the classical Greek ones of “natural” and “artificial.” It also includes language, society, family, social traditions, science, ecosystems, common law, money, government, democracy, even cities. Ferguson is behind the following comment by Greg Ransom about Friedrich Hayek:

“[These are] some of the outcomes of the accumulated experience of human beings pitting their wits against nature and social circumstance. They represent a distillation of what human experience has found works to satisfy our various needs. Because they arise from a multitude of circumstances and influences too diverse and too obscure to be known in their totality, they offer a rational guide to human action that individual human reason seeks to supplant at its peril. At its core, this evolutionist account of human society’s growth challenged the notion that a human will must be behind the remarkable social order that lets us achieve our goals and that allows other people to behave toward us in usefully predictable ways. If this authoritarian vision of the origins of social order were correct, then the order we know would simply be the choice of some human authority. If but a choice, it could be redesigned to achieve an outcome more pleasing for one reason or another. In contrast, Hayek offered a vision of social order that was not designed, but rather ‘spontaneous.’ In a spontaneous order, like the abstract order that was its predecessor in Hayek’s thought, people pursue their own goals within the framework of rules that facilitate cooperation with others. Spontaneous order adds a further dimension: that the rules themselves, because of their evolutionary pedigree, allow the emergence of a far richer and more complex level of cooperation than rules invented by clever people. Just as the attempts to ‘invent’ a universal language, such as Esperanto, always seem a pale and inadequate imitation of the complexities and resources of a language refined and enriched by millennia of human experience. So, too, invented moral codes and planned economies reduce the complexity of human relations to what the designing mind can comprehend.”

Migration

The same stupidity reigns here. Even if the Enlightenment ideal of universal education failed, politicians and social engineers still think that all humans are equal and interchangeable. They are clearly not. They bring their problems with them and, under welfare-state conditions, most of them become burdens on society. As Milton Friedman said, a modern, developed country with a welfare state cannot have open borders because “the supply of immigrants will become infinite.” This is so self-evident that we see it happening in Sweden and Germany and not happening in Hungary and Czechia: as Niall Ferguson writes in a devastating essay about what he calls the European meltdown pot, “it’s hard to be Denmark with a multicultural society.” This is a threat to Europe as grave as those posed by the Arabs in 732 and the Ottomans in 1683:

The threat Europe is facing if it refuses to close and control the borders is examined by Stephen Smith, an expert on Africa and admired by French President Emmanuel Macron, in his new book, The Rush to Europe: Young Africa on the Way to the Old Continent. Today, he notes, 510 million Europeans live in the European Union with 1.3 billion Africans facing them. “In thirty-five years, 450 million Europeans will face some 2.5 billion Africans, five times as many”, Smith predicts. If the Africans follow the example of other parts of the developing world, such as the Mexicans in the US, “in thirty years”, according to Smith, “Europe will have between 150 and 200 million Afro-Europeans, compared with 9 million today”. Smith called this scenario “Eurafrique”.

A new study shows that non-Western immigrants will cost the Netherlands more than $100 billion throughout their lives, simply because they are economic migrants looking to benefit from European welfare states. And let’s open Germany’s borders, what could go wrong?:

Arab clans dominate Berlin: Twenty families rule large parts of Germany’s capital; each family clan has up to 500 family members. Twelve clans are causing great problems for the police because they repeatedly commit organized crime. The clans, which consist of Arabs, Turks, and Africans, operate primarily in the west of the city. Some Arab clans live in Berlin’s Neukölln suburb and have divided certain streets among themselves. The problem is not limited to Berlin. The clans are also active in the Ruhr area, in Lower Saxony, and in Bremen.

And most illegal immigrants are a burden to American society:

The general consensus is that illegal aliens pay $12 billion a year in taxes. Every job an illegal alien takes is a job an American would have and for which an employer would have to offer fair compensation. Ergo, if Americans were in those jobs, the taxes they would pay would add much more to the tax coffers. If you include tax subsidies enjoyed by illegal immigrant workers and their employers, lost tax revenue is estimated to be $30 billion annually. Next, unless we also consider how much illegal aliens take out of the system in the form of government assistance, we aren’t talking real numbers. It is shocking how many benefits an illegal immigrant is entitled to receive, especially in California.

California is home to between 2.35 and 2.6 million illegal aliens, more than any other state in the nation. Illegal immigrants in California are entitled to in-state college tuition, scholarship assistance, emergency medical assistance, lab costs for indigent mothers who give birth in a hospital emergency room, outpatient dialysis, legal representation to fight deportation, drivers licenses, and law and other professional licenses. There is now a bill before the California legislature to extend full-scope Medicaid benefits to illegal alien adults.

As soon as an illegal alien has a baby on American soil, the new American citizen qualifies for a host of government services, most of which conveniently boomerang to benefit the entire family: WIC, free/subsidized lunch, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, food stamps, Medicaid, and Limited English Proficiency (LEP) education. It is estimated that 12.3 percent of California’s K–12 school children have an illegal immigrant parent.

The Center for Immigration Studies estimates that 62 percent of all illegal immigrant households use some kind of welfare, including households with one or more workers present. Eighty-seven percent of illegal immigrant households with children use some kind of welfare. The Federation for American Immigrant Reform estimates that Americans are spending $135 billion a year in welfare payments to illegal aliens.

If we consider what we’re spending in welfare services to support illegal immigrant households, the $12 billion they’re paying in taxes is nothing. After accounting for taxes illegal immigrants pay, we’re still supporting them to the tune of some $123 billion.

But we are told that America can’t pay $20 billion one-time for a border wall to stop this. Nor can America develop a system to check visa overstays.

Vladimir Dorta, 07/23/2018

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vdorta

Val-e-diction is a web log dedicated to expressing my beliefs and concerns regarding political, economic and social matters in the USA. I was born in Venezuela, a country famous by the proverbial beauty of its women that is a result of its racial and ethnic melting pot. At the present time Venezuela is suffering its gravest political and economic calamity in a century. Simply, socialism doesn’t work. I emigrated legally to the USA in 1979. I had studied here when young and fell in love with the country, a feeling that never faltered until I could make it my and my family’s home. I am proud of being a citizen of the United States of America, the shining city on a hill of Winthrop and Reagan, the beacon of freedom and hope for millions, the astonishing product of the only successful revolution in history. May God keep its institutions, traditions and culture strong forever. My humble contributions will try to push in the same direction.

One thought on “Human Stupidity”

  1. Vladimir,
    Excellent, also because of its simplicity.

    “ As Milton Friedman said, a modern, developed country with a welfare state cannot have open borders, because “the supply of immigrants will become infinite.””

    Not only those who have not want to migrate to the welfare state. But, also those who have.. because they see their assets threatened. And there is no guarantee that those who have.. got it in a manner that they are proud of .
    The later may prove to be even more upsetting because they are able to disrupt from the middle or higher.

    The disruption is evident in Weston. Just drive around. It seems to me that the disregard for good driving habits has grown proportionally to the amount of new immigrants , mainly from Venezuela.

    Saludos

    Frank.

    Like

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