Sunday, May 20, 2018

A "fourth political theory?" Persuasive propaganda... for simpletons.

I'll reiterate some familiar themes in the 2nd half of today's missive, raising the spectre of the "Greatest Generation," and re-introducing my one-page bill that might restore some faith in honest government.  But first...

... let's expose one of the worst memes being spread by the oligarchs' propaganda machine. It starts with an "of course" assumption that's an insidiously vile lie.

 == What's old is new ==

Shills on today's U.S. right -- the same folk who brought us "the Fourth Turning" and "Deep State" -- are now throwing roses at the feet of Alexander Dugin, a bona fide monster, sometimes called "Putin's Brain." I do recommend getting to know him! Because  studying this fellow's technique will teach you a lot about the low art of agitprop, including a clever trick; promote an untruth by assuming it as a given. 

Dugin - and his many followers on today's were-right - claim to advance a “fourth political theory” beyond three they say ruled the 20th Century -- liberalism, communism and fascism. All three failed, they assert, hoping you'll nod your head and perk your ears, ready for a fresh alternative. A New Hope.

In fact, their Fourth Way is the same "Decline of the West" bull-puckey pushed for a century by every right-wing pseudosmart jerk from Oswald Spengler to Alan Bloom to David Gelernter to... this Dugin character, who promotes as "new" a style of governance as old as dust. Extolled as "time-tested traditionalism," it dominated 99% of past human cultures, failing every "test" of decency, fairness, or actual outcomes. 

The Fourth political theory is Feudalism. And it never went away, across vast swathes of the globe. Arguably, fascism and communism were variations: self-chosen elites crushing all opposition by force, under the figleaf banner of some religion or ideology.

It is gangsterism by those with money and swords, the theocrats and lords who stole everything from our ancestors while repressing science and fair competition. Only after Adam Smith denounced its horrific record of bad governance, and the American Revolution restarted the Periclean experiment, did we learn how thoroughly loathsome and discredited feudalism is. Our modernist, flat-fair-open system has accomplished more than any other... than all others, combined.

Yet, the urge to re-establish feudalism simmers and roils in the loins of every second rater who inherited daddy's silver spoon.  And they hire gifted svengalis to spin tales to undermine our confidence in flat-fair-open-scientific-rational and pragmatic enlightenment. These would-be oligarchs and lords and theocrats and kings need to be stopped, cold, the way 250 years of our ancestors stopped them. They are enemies of all human hope and any possibility that our grandchildren may inherit the stars.

When I was in Russia last month, I told an audience... "Your parents were wrong about a lot of things... but not about EVERY thing." Marx saw clearly what Adam Smith saw... and Pericles... that human nature propels the powerful and owners and kings and priests and oligarchs to use their advantages to cheat. Marx believed there was no way out but utter class war, that is, after the means of production were completed.

Heck, it may yet come to that. (On his 200th anniversary, Karl Marx is being bought and read more than any time since the 1980s). But Adam Smith saw another possibility: that dynamic competition and freedom and flat-reciprocal accountability might be solutions, less easily corrupted than class war. The radical revolutionaries of 1789, 1917 and 1949 went with the "Marxist" notion, because his incantations provided excuse for them to become the next wave of feudal cheaters! 

The U.S. moderate-progressive revolution tried Smith's approach... and it has worked better than anything since Periclean Athens. Than every other thing. Combined.

“Fourth path? My shiny metal…. Oh, you lying feudalist monsters.

== Drain the "swamp" with professional swamp drainers. ==

There are currently more than 70 federal inspectors general, one serving as ‘watchdog’ in nearly every national agency, though some positions are currently vacant. George Washington’s inspector general, Baron Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben is memorialized in a statue in Lafayette Square across from the White House. (See the hilarious Danny Kaye movie “The Inspector General.)

NPR reports: "Perhaps the most important principle for every inspector general is ensuring our independence from the agencies we oversee, so that we can be effective watchdogs over them," Justice Department inspector general Michael Horowitz said. ‘It was Horowitz's office that investigated (former high FBI official) McCabe. He's also been involved in some other high-profile probes at the department, including former FBI Director James Comey's handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation and whether or not the Justice Department improperly obtained a warrant to surveil Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. Horowitz said he could not comment on any of the ongoing investigations.’  Busy guy.  So is the Inspector General at Scott Pruitt’s EPA.

"Peter Tyler of the Project On Government Oversight argues that the duties of inspectors general are more important than ever, and they "do really good work, but the question is, does anybody listen?"

This article barely scratches the surface. The IG system is a blessing that has vastly more potential for good than is currently utilized. Indeed, the present system is inherently endangered by conflict of interest, with the IG in each agency having to hold accountable the person he or she works for. 

I’ve long proposed a simple solution that could be legislated on just one piece of paper, in a few paragraphs, transferring all departmental Inspectors General and their staffs to serve under a new official, the Inspector General of the United States, or IGUS. With cabinet-level rank and free to attend cabinet meetings, IGUS would nevertheless be independently appointed, serving outside presidential control.

See my writeup on IGUS. If this happened, public trust in government would rise. It’s not the only such measure that’s called for - (I propose others) - but it's possibly the simplest and easiest to implement on a near horizon.  

And see where I incorporated this proposal in THE FACT ACT.

== Selling influence ==

Alas, under the present regime, “swamp” creatures don’t even try to hide the vampirism. For example, interim director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Mick Mulvaney bragged to banking industry executives and lobbyists last month that they should increase their campaign donations to influence lawmakers, revealing that when he was in Congress he would "meet only with lobbyists who contributed to his campaign.”

Our representatives don’t view themselves as our representatives — they view themselves as representing the interests of their funders. And it’s not the first time one of them has let that truth slip out. Republican Rep. Chris Collins of New York, for example, revealed his donors told him to get the tax bill passed “or don’t ever call me again.”

What? You shrug that this is just another daily assault upon the republic... a new normal? Well, don’t get outrage fatigue! Sure, the America has been losing this phase of the recurring American Civil War. But we may be on the cusp of our Gettysburg, this November, when the Confederacy of Dunces gets pushed back by a resurgent Union. 

Instead of shrugging, join groups who can take a little cash and maybe a tad of your time, and multiply it thousands fold. For example, contribute $5 to Lawrence Lessig’s campaign to get money out of politics.

Or pick some "ostrich republican" who suckles fox-rationalizations in order to stay loyal to the madness, but who is basically a good soul. Choose one and cling!  Be tenacious, pulling his or her head out of the sand of denial.  Normal rules of courtesy do not apply, when nation, civilization, humanity and planet hang in the balance.  I - one by one - we peel away just 5 million residually sane American conservatives, the Confederacy will lose this round of our civil war.

Use their own slogan!  The "MAGA" crowd supposedly reveres the "great" time of the 1950s. But our parents in the Greatest Generation would slap every Fox-cultist. The folks who survived the Depression, crushed Hitler, contained communism, went to the moon, ended Jim Crow, built the greatest economy in history... and whose favorite (adored) living person was Franklin... Delano...Roosevelt.

== Can you spell "Itoldyouso"? ==

Find one other pundit who predicted this, in every detail. 

Russia now claims the US missile strike on Syria largely failed — and that they've captured U.S. missile technology.

== The Bald-Faced, Actual Difference in Outcomes ==

Finally someone able to see, and point that to the fact that a stereotype has no clothes.

Get this: Since 1977, the three presidential administrations that have overseen the deficit increases are the three Republican ones. President Trump’s tax cut is virtually assured to make him the fourth of four. And the three administrations that have overseen deficit reductions are the three Democratic ones, including a small decline under Barack Obama. If you want to know whether a post-1976 president increased or reduced the deficit, the only thing you need to know is his party.” - From The Democrats are the Party of Fiscal Responsibility, in the New York Times.

David Leonhardt gets it right without actually using my clear explication that it is the Second Derivative of Debt – the rate of change of the rate of change – that shows the effects of an administration’s policies and the attitude of the party.  The popularized version is “gas pedal? Or brake?”

Republicans always hammer down on the former, democrats on the latter.  That’s always.  I mean always.  I mean abso-freaking-lutely every single time and always, always, always and always.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

The great beyond...

The Dark Energy Survey (DES)  has discovered 11 new streams of stars that originate from outside of our galaxy. These “stellar streams” (Asimov's "Currents of Space"?) are made up of the remnants of nearby clusters or dwarf galaxies, which were ripped or altered or destroyed by the gravity of the Milky Way. There are about 1,000 to 10,000 main sequence stars in each stream.

Yes, this is another review of recent news about SPACE!

So cool.  A video dive down into the Mutara… I mean, Orion… Nebula. Lower shields and enter at your own risk.

The Age of Amateurs at its best. An amateur astronomer catches (for the first time) a supernova in its early phase, alerting professionals to zero in and chart its youthful moments. We need all-sky awareness.

research team examined 355 stars that had a total of 909 planets, which periodically transit across their faces (as seen from Earth). The planets are between 1,000 and 4,000 light-years away from Earth. They found that a system with a small planet would tend to have other small planets nearby — and vice-versa, with big planets tending to have big neighbors. These extrasolar systems also had regular orbital spacing between the planets.

In our own solar system, however, the story is very different. The four terrestrial planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars) are very widely spaced apart. The team pointed to evidence from other research that Jupiter and Saturn may have disrupted the structure of the young solar system.

Note that these samples are biased by a huge selection effect, favoring very close-in planets that might occult their stars along edge-on orbital planes (as seen from Earth.) Still, statistical techniques offer major – if tentative – insights.

Fascinating. By studying the microlensing properties of emission close to the event horizon of the supermassive black hole of a background quasar, astronomers set a lower limit to the density of rogue moons and planets in interstellar space in that galaxy at roughly 2000 per star.  Very rough!  But if that proves universal, there may be a lot of “stuff” out there between stars, helping explain why travel is difficult.

Talk of using pulsars as navigation beacons! Wow? Well, in fact… the pioneer plaque of the 1970s was based on exactly this. Look at the "spray pattern." The dots and dashes are time marks for each pulsar's period.  I attended a 1971 talk when Carl Sagan unveiled this, at Caltech!

The Kepler Mission was an inexpensive endeavor of NASA Ames Research Center that proved to be one of the most miraculous and cost-efficient scientific experiments of all time, expanding the number of extra-solar planets known from a couple of dozen to… thousands.  So when loss of one gyroscope seemed to doom the spacecraft, clever engineers found a way to salvage a lot of observing ability, using the pressure of sunlight to replace that gyroscope and help the remaining two, allowing Kepler to continue planet-hunting in 4.5 patches of sky, per year. The result? Another 300 or so planets!  Continuing this marvel till spectacular successor missions are ready.

We are mighty beings! Our explorations are more successful that anything else we do… than any estimation of the odds would seem to merit. Every discovery, from genome to Mars Rovers and Pluto missions to ever-improving weather models, to vanquishing diseases should swell your chest with pride. (Watch the end of

I assert that there may even be theological significance to these fantastic scientific wonders we're achieving. As if it's meant to be. Our purpose.

== A lunar station? ==

What is our future in space? Michio Kaku takes a bold look at The Future of Humanity: Transforming Mars, Interstellar Travel, Immortality, and Our Destiny Beyond Earth, which ranges over topics from AI and nanotechnology to astrophysics, terraforming and FTL, with a far-seeing eye on how we will survive as a species in a space-based civilization. Even so... there are those who oppose this vision....

Forget math in favor of dogma! “Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross talks about “turning the moon into a kind of gas station for outer space. The plan is to break down the ice [there] into hydrogen and oxygen, use those as the fuel propellant." Rockets would not need as much thrust leaving Earth if they only had to get to the moon, he said. "Then at the moon, you have very low gravity so you don't need so much thrust to go from the moon to Mars, for example, or another asteroid."

It sounds like something cool to help propel us forward with science, pragmatism and adventure, right?  Wrong. There are no levels and no ways that this makes sense, even slightly. This Republican fixation on “return to the moon” is a calamitous error and utter waste of time and resources. 

To be clear, I rejoiced when my friend and former boss James Arnold saw his theory proved true -- that there’s some ice in dark niches at the lunar poles. Indeed, a day may come when some lunar settlement or city might use that ice, recycling it carefully so that it lasts.  But that won’t happen if we squander it on making rocket fuel whose principal use is to blast out of the lunar gravity well.

Watch Republican eyes glaze over when you use… numbers, or terms like “delta V”; but here goes.  It takes 6.3 km/sec of velocity change to get from Low Earth Orbit (LEO) to the lunar surface, almost all of which must be done at high acceleration, with chemical rockets. No high efficiency ion engines or sails.  And that leaves out the penalty-cost of going to the lunar poles.  In contrast, the large population of NEOs or Near-Earth Asteroids can be reached with delta V of about 5.5 km/sec.  That’s a small but significant advantage to asteroids…

… that expands a lot when you then add in the cost of launching from the lunar surface. Again, with low efficiency chemical rocketry, whereas much of the transit to-from NEOs can be done by ion-drive or sail.  And note, from a typical NEO, the added delta V needed, to reach Mars, is only about 2 km/sec.

Now, you pay a price for the easy energetics to NEOs, and that cost is TIME. It can take a whole lot longer to reach asteroids, which is why we must develop excellent robotic systems, first to access the copious amounts of water there (vastly more than at the lunar poles), and later for the hundreds of trillions of dollars worth of mineral wealth out there, from iron (for use in space) to platinum and gold. (This is one reason why legacy Earth-resource moguls in the GOP are desperate to divert us to the Moon, because nothing there threatens their monopolies and sunk costs in Earthly mines.)

So yes, asteroid mining will be mostly robotic. The moon is a better place for humans to use the scanty lunar water for the one purpose Andy Weir's Artemis speculates that dustball is good for, in the near term… tourism.  

Leave the dusty surface to others (for now.) Elsewhere, I explain why a lunar ORBITAL station has huge utility – in at least five ways – and the U.S. should concentrate its manned efforts there, not on imitating Apollo landings.

But it is asteroids where tech billionaires foresee our future in space, all getting rich together out there. And NEOs will prepare us to utilize Phobos! Possibly one of the most valuable places in the Solar System and our real gateway to the Red Planet.

No, Wilbur Ross, we are not fooled by the fact that you schooled yourself to say words like “hydrogen” and “oxygen.” Your incantations still distill down to waging war on science, reason, ambition and the United States of America.

See my postings elsewhere about the issue of Trump's science adviser and the destruction of OSTP.  This article explored the turn back to the moon and the reporter published my response. Thoughts that I updated here.

Oh, we can accomplish anything, if we shrug off gloom. Here, Bill Gates reviews Pinker’s latest tome “Enlightenment Now,” a vigorous defense of our stunningly successful civilization, against the gloom merchants seeking to wreck citizen belief in ourselves. The only thing that will make a difference, over the long run.  

As I wrote in The Postman, by the way.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

The Velocity of Money… and Revolution

If you’re perfectly comfy with the economy’s gyrations, then pay no attention as I explain what’s actually going on. Economists have been recognizing signs of serious dislocation for some time. Even right-of-center fellows like newsletter mavens John Mauldin and Lacy Hunt have finally recognized the core indications. I wish I could share their excellent newsletters with you. But – at some risk of misinterpreting or even treating them unfairly – I intend to paraphrase. And criticize.

A recent Mauldin missive correctly cites the most disturbing symptom of trouble in the U.S. economy: a plummet in Money Velocity (MV).

To quote John:  “You may be asking, what exactly is the velocity of money? Essentially, it’s the frequency with which the same dollar changes hands because the holders of the dollar use it to buy something. Higher velocity means more economic activity, which usually means higher growth. So it is somewhat disturbing to see velocity now at its lowest point since 1949, and at levels associated with the Great Depression.”

Somewhat… disturbing? That’s at-best an understatement, since no other economic indicator is as telling. MV is about a bridge repair worker buying furniture, that lets a furniture maker get dentures, so a dentist can pay her cleaning lady, who buys groceries….

There are rare occasions when MV can be too high, as during the 1970s hyper-inflation, when Jimmy Carter told Paul Volcker “Cure this, and to hell with my re-election.”  But those times are rare. Generally, for all our lives, Money Velocity has been declining into dangerous sluggishness, falling hard since the 80s, rising a little in the 90s, then plummeting.

Alas, while fellows like Hunt and Mauldin are at last pointing at this worrisome symptom, they remain in frantic denial over the cause. Absolutely, it is wealth disparity that destroys money velocity. Bridge repair workers and dentists would spend money – if they had any.

We have known - ever since Adam Smith gazed across the last 4000 years - that a feudal oligarchy does not invest in productive capacity. Nor does it spend much on goods or services that have large multiplier effects (that give middle class wage earners a chance to keep money moving). Instead, aristocrats have always tended to put their extra wealth into rentier (or passive rent-seeking) property, or else parasitic-crony-vampiric cheating through abuse of state power.

See my earlier posting: Must the Rich be Lured into Investing?

== Situation Normal: Cheating Flows Up ==

Do not let so-called “tea party” confederate lackeys divert you. The U.S. Revolution was against a King and Parliament and royal cronies who commanded all American commerce to pass through their ports and docks and stores, who demanded that consumer goods like tea be sold through monopolies and even paper be stamped to ensure it came from a royal pal. Try actually reading the Declaration of Independence. “Taxation without representation” was about how an oligarchy controlled Parliament through jiggered districts and cheating, and used that power to funnel wealth upward.

Here’s a fact that shows where we came from… and might be going: over a third of the land in the thirteen colonies was owned – tax-free – by aristocratic families.

The U.S. Founders fought back. After their successful revolt, they redistributed fully a quarter of the wealth and land, and they did it calmly, without the tsunami of blood that soon flowed in France, then Russia, then China. That militantly moderate style of revolution actually worked far better at fostering positive outcomes for all. For the people… and yes, for local aristocratic families, who retained comforts, some advantages. And their heads.

Nor was that the only time Americans had to push back against proto-feudal cheating, which we now know erupts straight out of human nature. The Civil War was certainly a massive ‘wealth redistribution’ by giving millions of people ownership of their own lives and bodies. During the 1890s Gilded Age, we avoided radical revolution in favor of reform – e.g. anti-trust laws.

Our parents in the Greatest Generation – who adored FDR – sought to prevent communism by keeping market enterprise flat, competitive and fair. Far less radical than the Founders, their reforms created the flattest social structure and the most fantastic burst of economic prosperity, ever.

And dismantling the work of that generation has been the core aim of the confederate aristocracy, since Reagan.

== Dire beasties! Debt and the Fed ==

But let me share with you more of the myopia of decent men. John Mauldin continues: “Debt is another big issue for Lacy Hunt. People compare debt to addictive drugs, and as with some of those drugs, the dose needed to achieve the desired effect tends to rise over time.”

John then shows a chart (he always has the best charts!) revealing the additional economic output (GDP) generated by each additional dollar of business debt in the US. Needless to say, the effectiveness of each dollar of debt, at growing healthy companies, has plummeted.

Um…. Duh? Once upon a time, the purpose of corporate debt was to gather capital to invest in new productive capacity (factories, stores, infrastructure and worker training), with an aim to sell more/better goods and services that would then produce healthy margins that pay off the debt, across a reasonable ROI (Return on Investment) horizon.

This would then actually decrease the net ratio of debt to company value, across a sapient period of a decade or so.  This approach still holds, in a few tech industries, but not wherever companies have been taken over by an MBA-CEO caste devoted to Milton Friedman’s devastating cult of the quarterly stock-price statement.

Today, companies borrow in order to finance stock buybacks, market-cornering mergers and other tricks that our ancestors (again, in the Greatest Generation or “GGs”) wisely outlawed. Tricks that GOP deregulatory "reforms" restored to the armory of cheaters. Tricks that enable the CEO caste to inflate stock prices and meet their golden incentive parachutes, with the added plum of pumping rewards for their Wall Street pals who arrange the debt. 

Every parasitic act of “arbitrage” is justified with semantically-empty incantations like “correct price determination” – mumbo-jumbo spells that bear absolutely zero correlation with reality.

No wonder each added dose of debt is ineffective at actually growing long-term company value! What’s so hard to understand? Why are Mauldin and Hunt puzzled? 

Oh, yeah. They are honest and sincere men, at last able to perceive symptoms. But alas, they are also far too stubborn to acknowledge the root disease -- a conspiratorial cabal of would-be feudal lords. Loyal to a fault... (well, these plutocratic connivers are their friends)… John and other residually-sapient conservatives choose denial over admitting that Adam Smith had it right, all along.

Instead, Mauldin focuses again and again on his chosen Bête Noir … the Federal Reserve, even though the Fed has almost insignificant power over any of the things we’ve discussed here.  It’s Congress – Republican for all but two of the last 23 years – who sent U.S. fiscal health plummeting, from black ink to red that’s deeper than an M Class dwarf star. Congress did this while devastating every protection against monopoly/duopoly or financial conspiracy.

== Misunderstanding your own icons and heroes ==

Consider that Friedrich Hayek – often touted as the “opposite to Keynes” – actually agreed with John Maynard Keynes about many things, like the need for a very wide distribution of economic decision-makers. In an ideal market, this would be all consumers, empowered with all information. (There goes Brin’s broken record, repeating “transparency!” over and over.) Though yes, a 21st Century Keynsian will call for a government role in (1) counter-cyclical stimulation and (2) inclusion of externalities, like the health of our children’s children and their planet. (Note the spectacular success of the greatest modern Keynsian politician, California's Jerry Brown.)

Hayek complained that 500,000 dispersed and closely watched civil servants could never substitute for the distributed wisdom of an unleashed marketplace of billions. Hm. Well, that’s arguable. But so?

What does the right offer up, as its alternative? A far, far smaller, incestuous cabal of a few hundred secretly-colluding golf buddies in a circle-jerking CEO caste? That’s gonna allocate according to widely-distributed market wisdom?

Hayek spins in his grave.

This selfsame CEO-caste went on a drunken debt spree that blatantly served the cabal and not their companies, nor the economy or civilization.

Blaming the Federal Reserve for that is like condemning the owners of a liquor store for all the drunk drivers crushing pedestrians. Sure, the low price of booze might have contributed, but it’s not the primal cause. Oh. And yes, it’s been Congress that keeps funneling wealth from the middle class into gaping, oligarchic maws.

== Some of these guys almost get it ==

How I wish I could share John Mauldin’s newsletter with you! It’s smart! I mean it. I always learn a lot, the charts are excellent. Moreover, I get self-pats on my own back, for assiduously reading the smartest commentators that I can find, from every side. Also, John’s a cool dude and way fun. I read every word and its maybe 70% real-smart stuff!

(For contrast, see the super-smart liberal “Evonomics” site; the place where Adam Smith is most-discussed and would be most at-home.)

Moreover, John does honestly acknowledge – forced by the blatantly obvious - that income and wealth disparities are problematic and rising, while money velocity plummets.

Only then he goes to the newest catechism of the rationalizing right… arm-waving that technology is at fault. 

Yes, okay, automation has a depressing effect on middle class wages. So? Then it is time for a conversation about the social contract again. Like how to keep the middle class “bourgeois” – by keeping them vested in shared ownership of the means – as well as output – of production. It’s what the Greatest Generation did, while troglodytes accused them of “communism.” The most-entrepreneurial generation in history, they were far from commies.

== Some in-yer-face time ==

Okay, it’s that time again; so let me talk again directly to the confederate/feudal elites aiming to restore inherited hierarchies of old. This is no longer about Mauldin, but the would-be overlords standing right in front of him, in his blind spot.

Dear oligarch-traitors. Let me avow that human nature and history seem to be on your side. Our experiment in flat-fair-open systems always had the odds stacked against it. Hence, you feudalists will probably get your wish. Briefly. The middle class will very likely fall into proletarian poverty while you rake it all in.

Your evident plan is to leverage new technologies to entrench oligarchic rule, right? I depict something like it in EXISTENCE, though done by far smarter zillionaires than you.

Only – was it really part of the plan to wage open war on every single fact-using profession? Now including not just science and journalism and law, but the FBI, intelligence agencies and the military officer corps?  And all the folks who are innovating in genetics and artificial intelligence, too? Really? Are you that confident?

Or else, perhaps you are like so many past lords -- so lulled by sycophants that you cannot hear Karl Marx chuckling, as he rises from his mere-nap. (Copies of his works are flying off the shelves, faster than any time since the 1970s.) If so, you may get much more than you bargained for. More revolution than any sane person would want.

Adam Smith wasn’t the only one to seek a way out of this dilemma. Nor were the U.S. Founders. Will Durant – one of the greatest historians – said this, in his book, "The Lessons of History":

“In progressive societies the concentration (of wealth) may reach a point where the strength of number in the many poor rivals the strength of ability in the few rich; then the unstable equilibrium generates a critical situation, which history has diversely met by legislation redistributing wealth or by revolution distributing poverty.”

The recent “great” time for America was built by moderate, if somewhat leveling, legislation. The Greatest Generation chose a Rooseveltean alternative to violent revolution. And it worked -- inarguably, spectacularly -- till cheating once more gained the upper hand.

Me? I stand with the Founders. With Adam Smith and a flat-fair-open market society filled with opportunity for all and grand, cheat-advantages for none. A relatively-flat society that still has loads of incentives. One wherein true competition among healthy-confident equals can thrive, pouring a positive-sum cornucopia for everyone.

And now, yes, “equals” must include all previously-squelched sources of talent – genders, races and the raised-up/blameless children of the poor.

You confederates, you are the traitors to that flat-fair-open-accountable Better Capitalism. The form that stood up to Marx and quelled him to sleep. The only kind of market system that can withstand the coming wind, when he awakens.

I stand with the Greatest Generation… and greater ones to come.  

I stand with the moderate, scientific, flat-fair revolution that accepts facts and complexity and denies simplistic incantations. Moreover, that moderate/calm/eclectic kind of revolutionary numbers in the tens… hundreds of millions. We include nearly all of the most-skilled, and our growing cadre hears the alarum.

We awaken. We rise. And you had better welcome this. Because it will either be our reforms or the tumbrels of Robespierres.