Saturday, October 29, 2016

Prosperity and Science

I keep seeing on the sites of conservative candidates all sorts of horrible claims about Obama and others. They really think that they are the only hard-working people in America. They are fools if they think that. Scientists, doctors, and folks in the computer industry work harder than do they. For that matter so do the Mexican illegals and the Chinese.

The question these people fail to ask is “What is the root of money?” Most of what business sells comes from science, and science is a government-funded endeavor. Business has a role in it; but science has a greater role.

So you defund the academia, gut the educational system. Drive with signs that say “My son beat up your honor student.” What's going to happen? You will lose your best minds. You will render yourselves uncompetitive. Obama did not do this to you, and the Jews did not do this to you. You did this to yourselves.

Republicans are good at taking credit, but not quite as good at deserving credit. Once again, science – a vastly majority liberal endeavor – is at the root of most of what business sells. And the true source of 1980s and 1990s prosperity – the computer industry – is mostly Democratic or libertarian.

And we don't even need to start on manufacturing labor.

I have no idea why more people aren't saying such things. Maybe they are too nice; maybe they are too chicken. But when I see people so caught up in their groupthink that they ignore or disregard such basic things, it does take someone to break that groupthink.

Once again, science is at least as much responsible for prosperity as is business. Without science, capitalism would be nothing more than exchange of basic commodities at the level it was in Medieval Persia. There are people all over the world who work very hard. America did not get wealthy simply by working hard. It got wealthy by working smart. It got wealthy through science and technology. And if the academia gets defunded and honor students get beaten up, then America loses bigtime. Obama did not do this to them, and Jews did not do this to them. They did it to themselves.

Another reason for reduced competitiveness has been the equation of ingenuity with psychopathology. If it is narcissistic to seek great success or to have original ideas, then the world in general and America in particular owes most of what it has to its narcissists. You destroy what made your country great in the first place, you will lose.

And what sad state of affairs it is that it takes a person born in Russia to explain such things.

Now there are some conservatives who do in fact know what they are talking about. Most others are either lying or deceived. If you defund your academia and gut your educational system, you will lose competitiveness. The Chinese, the Hindus and any number of others will get ahead. And this will be the case even if the 6 million American Jews re-settle in Israel and even if Donald Trump gets in the White House. You may not personally like many folks in the academia, but you need them. As for me, the scientists I've known had excellent character, and they also did very important work.

So if you go around beating up your honor students, expect to lose. Expect to lose out to countries and cultures within America who do not take that course of action. And if you equate the whole of responsibility – or the whole of rational interest – with making money, then expect to be starved of people such as teachers and scientists. These people do not make very much money for the effort they've put into their education. But their contributions to the country are vast.

I've seen this problem all around America, in both white and black communities. The Southern whites and the folks in the ghetto don't like each other very much, but they share this ruinous attitude. They destroy their best minds, and they lose competitiveness. Then they blame whomever they want to blame – Jews, liberals, “white man,” whatever. No; the problem is their own conduct.

When I was in school, a claim I kept hearing was that academic learning is worthless and that the only thing that matters in life is common sense and social skills. You may want this attitude if you are raising lawyers; but lawyers are not what a great country makes. You also need scientists, engineers, teachers, and any number of others. For these fields academic learning is essential. And if you instead devalue such things, you will make your country lose out.

The problems here are not limited to who is in the White House. This is a much more deep-seated problem, and it was not created either by business or liberal “elites.” This is a problem with many deeply-held attitudes. It will not be solved by either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton getting elected. People's attitudes will have to change.

A weak primary education system is a bonanza for conmen. People lack the knowledge that they need to protect themselves from scammers and to be responsible citizens. The problem is not the lack of funding, but lack of interest among students as especially urged by their parents. If kids do not want to learn then no money spent will be enough. So then it's back to let's beat up on the honor student and blame everything on the Jews.

Christianity is not the same thing as ignorance, and values is not the same thing as dishonesty. You need science. You need education. Without such things, the country will lose competitiveness. This is not the doing of the Jews or the liberals; it is the doing of the people who have such beliefs.

With business, we see all sorts of directions. Some in business really are producing prosperity, and others use business for very wrong things. Much can be said for entrepreneurship and visionary approach. This, however, is being attacked by psychology under the claim that it is pathological. You pathologize what made your country great, you will sabotage your country.

Probably the most ruinous statement of Ronald Reagan was “Why should I pay for somebody's education?” Well there is a very good reason why you should. You need an informed citizenry. You need a competitive citizenry. You need engineers, teachers and scientists. And if you do not have such people, your country will lose out.

Now I have not seen many people saying such things in American public discourse, so I am saying these things for them. Prosperity owes as much if not more to science as it owes to business. It is also owed to all sorts of other people, such as teachers, who do not make very much money.

As for America, it owes its greatness to visionary spirit – the same spirit that is now being branded as “narcissism.”

If you really want America to get well, it is not about who is in the White House. It is about what attitudes people have. Stop defunding the academia and beating up your honor students. Stop pathologizing the things responsible for America's greatness. Rather regain the visionary spirit that made America the hope of the world and make America a great country again.


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