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Culture War Roundup for the week of April 17, 2023

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So anyway, I was discussing the great replacement theory with a far-righter earlier, and I said that immigration had little to no effect on native birthrates, citing Japan and Korea as examples.

That pointed to a far more likely culprit, education as a whole (not just women’s). South Korea and Japan can’t seem to stop "investing in the future" by making their and their kids’ lives hell. Naturally, to escape the vicious cycle, they end up abolishing the future.

Isn’t it weird that a prominent justification for making money in our society is ‘sending my kids to college’? Anyone who refuses to do so is shamed with accusations of selfishness and not wanting their kids to succeed. They then choose the alternative path where kids aren’t even in the picture, so they’re free to be selfish in peace. We’re copenhagen ethics-ing humanity into slow painless extinction.

Trads like to assign the blame to female education, but most of the arguments apply to men as well. People are wasting 5-15 years of their lives on a very expensive vacation, at best, when they could be having kids. We want them to make that important decision early, and nothing sobers a young man quicker than staring decades of drudgery in the face.

It’s time to abandon our rosy view of Education as just an intolerable burden on the living. The unborn are its primary victims. Your children cry out: “Mum! Dad! Why do you let my Evil Professor keep me here? Why can’t I liiive? “

Say No To School. Choose Life.

School/education on its own seems relatively fine. It's just the particular way we go about it that ruins everything.

The standard meme in government economics is, " I can do is subsidize demand and restrict supply." We see this meme played out in at least three domains where there is high government involvement: education, medical care, and housing. Even just from that, there's not much surprise that prices rise higher and higher. But I think the standard bifecta is missing a third factor to make it a trifecta. What does the government do after subsidizing demand, restricting supply, and seeing prices go up? Why, they invariably come in and help the cartel they've set up price discriminate as perfectly as possible!

Every company wants to price discriminate. Companies/cartels with market power really want to price discriminate. The standard economics result is that if a monopolist is able to perfectly price discriminate (i.e., charge each individual customer exactly their willingness-to-pay), then they capture all of the gains from trade, leaving none of the surplus to the consumer. All consumers are still just barely willing to engage in the transactions, but none really feel like they've gotten a good "deal" out of the trade. These companies with market power are the bootleggers.

The baptists are in the government, seeing that high prices appear to harm poorer people, and they looooooove to help poorer people! So, what do you have to do when you want to go to college? Oh, just submit this federal form that tells the company gobs of data about your income/assets/etc..... oh, and for your family, too! That'll allow us nice people to help make college affordable price your personalized college experience as darn close to your individual willingness-to-pay as possible! Hospitals often tout (not sure if required by the government) programs that simply slash your bill, give you a personalized price, if only you give them a bunch of information about your finances. The government will even directly provide health insurance options for you... but, ya know, if you want a good individualized price, you better give us your financial data. I even saw this week that they're going to start adding fees to mortgages for homeowners with good credit (personalize their price) in order to subside those of homeowners with bad credit (personalize their price, too!).

All of this is wonderful, if you're part of the cartel that determines who can be a doctor, who can build a hospital, who can start a university (or even a program within a university), who can build what where (and have ease-of-permitting). Those are the people who will capture all the gains from trade. Everyone else? Whelp, be glad that you can just barely buy it, nevermind that you won't have much left over for any other aspects of A Good Life you might want.