Monday, February 6, 2017

A World Without Second-Order Effects

     Good morning, Gentle Readers. Yes, it was an amazing game, arguably the most exciting, surprising game ever played in the Super Bowl. Here are the records that were set:

  • Most Super Bowl appearances by a franchise (New England, 9)
  • Most Super Bowl victories by a head coach (Bill Belichick, 5)
  • Most Super Bowl passing attempts by a single quarterback (Tom Brady, 62)
  • Most Super Bowl passing yards by a single quarterback (Tom Brady, 466)
  • Most Super Bowl victories by a single quarterback (Tom Brady, 5)
  • Most Super Bowl MVP awards to a single player (Tom Brady, 4)
  • Most 2-point conversions in a Super Bowl (New England, 2)
  • Longest play-clock interval without scoring by a Super Bowl winner (New England, 29:57)
  • Largest comeback in Super Bowl history (25 points)
  • Longest Super Bowl in play-clock time (owing to the Overtime period)

     Now that that’s behind us, let’s get to the important stuff: ice hockey. GO RANGERS!


     What the Left wants most in all this world – those Leftists who are rational, anyway – is to eliminate sociopolitical second-order effects. Second-order effects spoil all their schemes, whether they’re in power or vying for it. Every activist campaign in an open society is marred by them, and every socialist hellhole is ruined by them.

     For those unfamiliar with the term, a second-order effect is one that results from changes to personal and institutional incentives brought about by sociopolitical action. For example, imagine that Congress were to pass a law tomorrow that limits all interest charged on any sort of loan to 3% per year – no more, no less – and were to create or empower a sufficiently large enforcement arm to compel all legal lending institutions to comply with it. The changes to our incentives to lend (or borrow) would be massive. Most obviously, bank loans to consumers would cease at once; probably most loans to corporations would cease as well. Business ventures with a significant degree of risk would no longer be funded. A black market in credit would swiftly arise, and as such lending would be beyond the law, defaults would be punished by violence: legbreakers. Venture capitalists of the legal variety would become extinct.

     Such a law would destroy capitalism. Yet it would probably require a bill of no more than a single page. In an autocracy, it might take no more than a single sentence from the mouth of the despot. Socialists are big on simplicity, aren’t they?

     In every socialist nation known to history, the regime has striven with all its power to prevent second-order effects. When the Left comes to power in these United States, second-order effects are invariably its undoing. Ironically, this is also the case in its activism.


     In recent months, Leftist activism has taken a toll on several highly visible institutions, including the National Football League. The reduced viewership the NFL has endured since Colin Kaepernick’s puerile stunt is a second-order effect. Kaepernick isn’t bright enough to realize this, of course, but one might have expected better of Commissioner Roger Goodell. At least the political crap during Super Bowl LI was confined to the commercials...not one of which was memorable enough to be watched a second time.

     Other varieties of Leftist activism are causing President Donald Trump’s popularity and approval ratings to shoot upward. It helps, of course, that most of the measures President Trump has undertaken to this point are themselves popular. (It also helps that Trump has done exactly what he said he would do during the campaign.) But singularly revealing is the overall response to attacks on Trump’s family, whether the snide detractions focused on Melania and Barron or the boycotts of Trump family enterprises. Here’s a case in point:

     The First Daughter's business empire is in tatters after the grassroots campaign launched by two women on Twitter which has managed to convince thousands to stop buying Ivanka's clothes.

     Shannon Coulter and Sue Atencio launched the Grab Your Wallet campaign on October 11 after they 'simultaneously realized they could no longer in good conscience shop at retailers that do business with the Trump family'. And in just five months they have achieved more than even their own family and loves ones thought was possible.

     Sounds as if it’s working, doesn’t it? But read on:

     Trump's fashion label has defended itself and says that it continues to expand, resulting in 'significant' revenue growth last year compared to the previous year - despite the boycott.

     Rosemary K. Young, senior director of marketing at Ivanka Trump, said in a statement: 'The Ivanka Trump brand continues to expand across categories and distribution with increased customer support, leading us to experience significant year-over-year revenue growth in 2016.

     'We believe that the strength of a brand is measured not only by the profits it generates, but the integrity it maintains.

     'The women behind the brand represent a diverse group of professionals and we are proud to say that the Ivanka Trump brand continues to embody the principles upon which it was founded.

     'It is a company built to inspire women with solution-oriented offerings, created to celebrate and service the many aspects of their lives.’

     That doesn’t sound like a retrenchment in the face of declining sales, does it? Moreover, figures don’t lie; Miss Young’s statements are verifiable by reference to the firm’s public accounting. But of greatest significance is this: popular approval and admiration of the Trumps, from the president on down, is higher than it’s ever been.

     The second-order effect here is the unwillingness of decent persons to countenance attacks on a politician’s family members. The attacks on the children of George W. Bush failed to harm the Bush family or Dubya’s overall approval. The jibes at Barack Obama’s family, particularly Michelle, failed to harm Obama. Whether or not one approves of the politician’s positions, Americans have always viewed attacks on relatives as the dirtiest of dirty pool. Our response is almost invariably opposed to the desires of the attackers.

     Those second-order effects! No wonder communist hellholes have to garrison their borders. (Hint: It’s not to keep immigrants out.)

     But Leftists don’t learn well. They make most of their political gains not from learning the lessons of previous failures, but from the failures of politicians on the Right to do as they should. When Herbert Hoover started meddling in the economy after the October 1929 stock market crash, he guaranteed that he'd serve only a single term. When George W. Bush acceded to the maximally insane plan to prop up the very institutions that had crashed the economy – and Republican candidate John McCain enlisted in the effort -- they virtually guaranteed Barack Obama’s election. It’s possible that nothing else would have done so.

     There’s a moral in there...and not just for thinkers and strategists on the Left.

1 comment:

  1. Kapernick can do as he pleases. The fact that Goodell and the NFL failed to reign him in is why I and many I know stopped watching the NFL this year. Thought about recording the SB just to enjoy the commercials but quickly realized that this would negate the effect of not watching the game. So.. zero NFL and zero SB in our house. Unless and until the NFL does what it should this will continue to be the case season after season.

    The NFL tries to say it can't do anything. Complete BS. If I tried something similar where I work I'd be tossed out within a year if not less. The max of a year just to 'document' that I 'did not meet expectations'. Heck, here in libtard nation I did not even dare put a Trump sticker on my car. Even though the company touts diversity there was a high likelihood of my car getting keyed, tires flattened, etc. And you just know the security cameras would probably not see a thing. Not to mention that all it takes is one high ranking, or well connected, or HR person to see that sticker and put the unemployment machine in motion.

    Reminds me of a Metallica song.

    ReplyDelete

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