MORE WEASEL WORDS

By Mike Cronin

It’s been a while since I’ve written about any weasel words. A few new ones have cropped up:

“State Capitalism” is now being offered as a definition of Communism. The enemies of Capitalism, which is the only system of socio-economic-political organization that bans the initiation of force from human affairs and operates on the concept of mutual trade to mutual benefit, are now trying to equate one of their own failed “isms” with Capitalism. The trouble is that Communism thrived on the initiation of force at every level. It was anything but capitalistic in any sense of the term!

Intersectionality “refer(s) to the complex and cumulative way that the effects of different forms of discrimination (such as racism, sexism, and classism) combine, overlap, and yes, intersect—especially in the experiences of marginalized people or groups.”  The term has legitimate roots. In the mid 1970s, black women were being virtually shut-out of jobs at GM. The allegation was that GM was discriminating against blacks by only giving them factory floor jobs, and discriminating against women by only giving them clerical jobs…but black women couldn’t get any jobs, because the “black” jobs on the factory floor only went to black men, and the “female” clerical jobs only went to white women.  The courts ruled that the black females could not combine racism and sexism into one discrimination complaint. A law professor named Kimberlé Crenshaw coined the term “intersectionality” to describe the phenomena.  So why is it now a weasel word? Because the very people it is meant to help (victims of multi-axis discrimination) are being victimized by other victims of multi-axis discrimination! Over the years, the point of intersectionality has morphed from trying to help victims of multi-axis discrimination into stratifying them.

Thus, if you are a poor, handicapped, illegal immigrant, trans-gender, person of color you have earned a lot of “street cred” among social justice warriors for your oppressed status, whereas if you are a white female, you are barely tolerated as a member of the “oppressed” club. And if you are Jewish, you are quite possibly reviled because of Israel’s perceived oppression of the Palestinians, even if you have been a victim of anti-Semitism yourself. Never mind that Islam is largely intolerant of homosexuals and often treats women as property. The Holocaust doesn’t even enter into it.

Antifa, or Anti-fascists, is the name of a radical, even militant, “left wing” group that purports to hate fascism and fascists, such as the KKK and Neo-Nazis. Being against hatred and the initiation of violence seem laudable, but Antifa are anything but. Ironically, Antifa has no philosophical compunction against using the same fascist tactics (riots, speech control, initiation of violence) the original Nazis employed to bring Hitler to power and set the world on fire!

Random Absurdities– Pt I.

By Mike Cronin

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Businesses can come under suspicion of discrimination if they don’t hire minorities and the “differently oriented” in proportion to the surrounding population…but they dare not ask what an applicant’s orientation, religion, race, ethnicity, etc. might be, because that could indicate an intent to discriminate.

If you want to keep what you earn, you’re greedy, but if you want to take what isn’t yours so you can buy votes you don’t deserve, you can get elected to high office.

Common Core in math is akin to asking a baby on the verge of walking to learn all of the anatomy and physiology of his little legs and having him explain to you what processes are going on with his muscles, bones, and balance while he is taking his first steps.

The tariffs and taxes on sugar make it twice as expensive here as in other countries.  The tariffs are meant to protect jobs in the sugar-raising industry. Instead, they cause loss of jobs in the industries that use the refined sugar, or force them to switch to high fructose corn syrup.

Ignorance of the law is no excuse…but no one can know of all the laws, because there are more than a person can read.  Worse yet:  even if you are aware of and follow a given law, you may be violating a different, contradicting law.  There is no law that obligates Congress to check whether proposed legislation might contradict current statutes.

Many people have to prove they do not take illegal drugs in order to get hired for a job. Once employed, they will have income taxes confiscated from their paychecks.  Money from those taxes will then be transferred to people relying on “government” assistance to make ends meet – people who don’t have to prove they are drug-free.  In fact, for some, the very reason they are receiving government assistance is because they have destroyed their employment eligibility through illegal drug use!

We send people to prison, comforting ourselves that the guilty are being punished for their crimes.  They will certainly not enjoy their stay, but while they are in, all too often they will learn to be even more ruthless, violent, and/or skilled at criminal activity.  Then they will get out and go right back to their predatory ways – but with a far greater degree of criminal impact.

Government-backed student loans, financial aid, and Pell grants are meant to help students cope with the high costs of post-secondary education.  Instead, by making it easier for more people to pay for school, the demand for higher education goes up…which drives the prices up. Put another way: even as Johnny gets his college loan and pays for school this year, the school raises its rates for next year.  Now Sally gets a bigger loan and pays for the higher tuition. The school raises its rates for next year. Now Jenny gets a bigger loan…lather, rinse, repeat.

We are supposed to equate “rich” with “high income,” resent high income earners, and demand that they pay higher taxes. People with high salaries have to pay high income taxes, but people with high net worth can live quite well off of the gains their investments make, and pay capital gains taxes instead of income taxes. (Capital gains taxes are much lower than the highest income tax bracket.) For example, the highest income tax rate is 35%, but the long term capital gain tax rate is 20%.  This can lead to a situation where a person who works his buns off and makes $500,000 in income (a cardiologist, perhaps) pays $175,000 in federal income tax, leaving $325,000. (This scenario is only about federal income tax vs capital gains tax – we’ll leave social security, states taxes, deductions, etc., out of the equation for simplicity’s sake). Now consider a person with $5 million in net worth invested wisely. Perhaps this person inherited the money.  Suppose this person makes capital gains of 10% per year – pretty good in this economy.  10% of $5 million is $500,000 – the same as our doctor’s income.  But capital gains taxes are only 20% ($100,000), not 35%.  That means the wealthy guy living a life of leisure off his investments pays $75,000 per year less taxes than the “rich” guy who worked his rear end off…on the same amount of taxable income!

 

Discrimination: Weasel Word?

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By Mike Cronin

Why is it that advertisements for luxury goods often appeal to those with “discriminating tastes,” yet it is widely regarded as wrong to discriminate against people on the basis of their genetic makeup, physical abilities, or group affiliations? How can it be good to discriminate in one instance, but not the other? I submit it is because the word discrimination has two opposing meanings; one of which is weasel-ease.

Dictionary.com gives four definitions for discrimination.  The first two seem to be almost completely contradictory to each other. The first, i.e. “an act or instance of discriminating, or of making a distinction,” alludes to judgment. It is the meaning that applies in the case of advertisers appealing to the supposed keen discernment of well-heeled consumers.  The second definition, “treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction in favor of or against, a person or thing based on the group, class, or category to which that person or thing belongs rather than on individual merit…” is the kind of discrimination that gets folks into legal and moral trouble.

Here’s the rub: a person who takes such action for or against another solely on account of race, creed, gender, etc., is actually indiscriminately applying their prejudices or stereotypes against their victims. They are in fact failing to discriminate based on individual merit. That’s the exact opposite of the primary definition of discrimination, and it is the essence of collectivism. “Discrimination” has entered the weasel lexicon.