Categories
Politics

Why do millennials consider it unpopular to be conservative?

I was born in 1988 thus making me a millenial. However I would actually identify myself as more conservative than a lot of my peers.

I like lower taxes (for the middle class), I don’t like illegal immigrants and think they should be deported, I’m in favor of reducing the deficit as much as possible, I really dislike SJWs and all that nonsense 20+ gender stuff, I don’t like political correctness, I think private businesses and the free market are better than the government at doing *most* things, and I’m fairly apathetic to gay marriage rights and stuff like that. I actually agree with Trump about “America first” (but not his actions so far).

But I also grew up with Asian parents and in Canada, which kind of gives me a mixed view that puts me at odds with most Republicans.

You see, I graduated from the top university in Canada and actually majored in economics, as well as traveled a lot including most of East Asia and Europe, so I kind of know what policies will work or not.

Most Republicans and Trump supporters are not conservative, have no idea what they are talking about. They resort to name-calling (libtards, brainwashed by the liberal media etc) when they disagree with you, they don’t back up their statements with anything factual and/or cherry pick extreme examples (Chicago for the failure of gun control, or Venezuela for the failure of socialism) or are just plain misguided (wait lines in Canada for healthcare kill millions etc). They are massive hypocrites (they criticized Obama when playing golf, now Trump plays the most golf out of any President, silence. During Obama’s term they said he was destroying the economy, now Trump took over and all of a sudden he’s created the biggest economic miracle of all time, I mean WTF). Oh yeah and also the abortion thing, I find it massively hypocritical that the Republicans care so much about a fetus but once they are an actual human, they don’t give 2 cents about them.

As a well educated person, I just cannot take Republicans seriously. Here’s a number of things that they are just misguided or wrong about:

Myth #1: Trickle down economics work.

No it does not. Cutting taxes for the rich will only make the rich richer. There has been ZERO evidence that trickle down works. Paul Krugman + other Nobel winning economists have all said that (Paul actually said it on Quora a few months ago), and I majored in economics and I know that the reason why the 1980s recession ended was because of Paul Volcker’s Fed Reserve increasing interest rates to combat stagflation (high unemployment + inflation), and since the 1980s we have seen the debt quadruple or double during every administration since (except for Bill Clinton’s), while the income inequality gap is many magnitudes higher than before, that is clearly the result of supply side economic policy. And as a counterexample: in the 1950s, the US had a high marginal tax rate of 90%; I don’t remember the 1950s being a bad decade for the USA do you?

Myth #2: The President affects the economy.

No he doesn’t. Monetary policy is enacted by the Federal Reserve and Fiscal policy is passed by Congress. The President merely signs the bills (i.e tax cuts, or higher spending all have to go through Congress before the President signs them). Alan Greenspan and the 1990s Congress was the architect of the Great Recession. And the economic recovery we are in now is the result of the 2010 economic stimulus that was passed through Congress along with Ben Bernanke’s near-zero interest rates back then along with tighter controls on lending and derivatives trading. I don’t give Obama any more credit than I give Trump, I give credit to Ben Bernanke + the 2010 Congress.

Myth #3: Universal healthcare is too expensive or doesn’t work.

I lived in Canada. It works. In Europe, it works. I lived in Korea before. It works. Why wouldn’t it work in the US? Americans already pay the most for their healthcare out of anyone, how could it be more expensive? Oh is it because they are spending $650b on their military budget (which is more than the next 27 countries combined)?

But you will have massive waiting lines and people will die while waiting

People see the doctor based on priority, not first come first serve.

But if Canadian healthcare is so good why do they come to the US for medical care”?

Because Canada is a small country and not every medical procedure can be done in Canada – Canadians that go to the US go there out of necessity not because they want to. 
I walked into a clinic in Toronto, saw the doctor, got an X-ray appointment and did it all in the same day within 2 hours, didn’t pay a dime. When I was living in California, this would have taken at least several days + $200 in fees (with insurance!). How can Americans possibly think their system is better is beyond me.

Myth #4: Gun control doesn’t work.

Except it does. It works in Canada. It works in Asia. It works in Europe. How come the USA is the only country where it doesn’t work? I wonder if it has something to do with their 300 million+ guns? And here go the arguments.

-Criminals will always find a way to kill they don’t care about laws

The thing is, very few of the mass shootings that we have seen were done by career criminals. They were done by ordinary law abiding citizens – until they snapped. So it’s a mental health issue problem. But wait – how the heck do you screen 325 million people for mental health issues? You can’t! That’s why a total gun ban is necessary – because no one would have access to guns. Plus – just because criminals don’t obey the laws doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have laws. This isn’t the Wild West and there’s a consequence for breaking the law – it’s called going to jail.

But criminals will always find a way to get guns

I’m not convinced that the 20 year old or 24 year old mass shooters have access to an illegal black market or want to kill that badly that they would go to such lengths. Maybe some will, but it will definitely require more effort than just purchasing something from your local Wal-mart or at a gun show or taking it from their parent’s bedroom (who presumably bought it legally).

They will find other ways to kill. They will use knives or home made bombs.

Sure. Knives will definitely kill at a slower rate than guns will. You have time to actually create distance between you and the killer. Home made bombs are possible but again they need to put a bit of effort into assembling them.

If we ban guns, why don’t we ban cars and alcohol too? Those kill a lot more people a year!

Guns primary purpose is to kill. Cars are for driving. Alcohol is for social interaction. This is false equivalence.

But gun laws don’t work! Just look at Chicago or California! They have high gun murder rates! Gun free zones don’t work!

Of course it doesn’t work in the US. Because all states have to have the same laws. If some states have more flexible laws than others, then banning them in one city or state does absolutely nothing. You have to ban them totally in every state in order to work. A person could otherwise just exploit a loophole where they can go to neighboring Indiana to buy a gun to shoot up a school in Illinois.

But guns actually prevent more deaths than kill! Self defense laws and discouragement

Maybe. But you could also use knives and tasers for self defense and it would work just as well, with much less chance of accidental discharge and accidental deaths.

But we need guns for hunting animals, too

Do you? I think we invented supermarkets like 60 years ago didn’t we?

-But 99% of citizens are law abiding. Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.

Sure, but everyone is law abiding until the time they are not. Then they become criminals. Tanks don’t kill people. Nukes don’t kill people. Rocket launchers don’t kill people. And 99% of people use them responsibly. Why aren’t those legal? Oh right, because the 1% that does misuse them means very very bad news for the 99%.

But the 2nd amendment is an American right! Liberals just want to take our rights and freedoms away!

The 2nd amendment also called for a well-regulated militia. Well regulated being the key word here, and this being a 1700s era rule well at the time it meant the average person, but in the 21st century more than likely it means the military. I’m all for the military and police force having weapons. Ordinary citizens? Not so much. Also – you know amendments can be repealed right? The 2nd amendment was an amendment – it was part of the Bill of Rights and not the original Constitution.

Why not? Ordinary citizens can help prevent crime too!

Because I don’t trust Joe the Plumber not to kill me when we have a shooting like the Aurora Colorado movie theater shooting or Orlando Pulse Nightclub shooting. Or even the Las Vegas shooting. Very very bad conditions, many people around you, low light environment, even a trained professional would have a hard time distinguishing who the shooter is amongst the chaos, let alone average Joe who I don’t even trust to drive his car safely.

But guns protect us from possibly tyranny from the government? Didn’t you know what happened with Nazi Germany or Russia or China?

Yeah, the majority of people actually supported Hitler, Stalin and Mao. That’s the thing. It wouldn’t matter if they had guns or not because they were brainwashed by the propaganda. Also – highly unlikely if you had a pistol or semi-auto you would be able to beat the government’s tanks or copters or bazookas – and this is the US Military we are talking about. Stealth fighters, Nukes, Airplane carriers. And all of them are trained. Joe the Plumber + his buddies don’t really stand a chance

Myth #5: Socialism/Communism is evil and Democrats are America-hating socialists.

Well this is another reason I would identify as a Democrat (despite disagreeing with some of their policies) over being a Republican. I really hate this “we are more patriotic than you” nonsense. Democrats are every bit as patriotic as Republicans are. Quiz time! Who was President when WWII happened and the Greatest Generation stood up to the Germans and Japanese? Oh that’s right FDR! a Democrat. Who was the guy who made the decision to drop the atom bombs to end WWII and ensure America’s emerging victorious? Harry Truman.. a Democrat. So how are Democrats less patriotic again?

And the fact that people confuse socialism with communism is a sign of ignorance. When Bernie Sanders and AOC and co. talk about socialism in 2018 they are talking about democratic European style socialism. Why is that evil? Because you have to pay more taxes? Well first of all, none of the European countries or Canada or Australia have anything higher than a 50% effective tax rate (and thats only for the very rich). For the majority of the middle class, I don’t think it would be any different than California’s effective tax rate. In Canada the highest marginal tax bracket is 47%, a far cry from the 70% that some people throw out there (need I remind that again, the USA had a 90% marginal tax rate in the 1950s!). 

Oh yeah, and btw the US is a democratic socialist country already, since Income Tax Act was passed in 1913, then Social Security and unemployment insurance in 1935 then Medicare and Medicaid in 1965, so Republicans who like to believe that the US is a pure capitalist country, umm too bad because we know pure capitalism sucks; I wouldn’t want to go back to Victorian England or Gilded Age USA would you? 40% of the population had ZERO income or social safety net. That’s pure capitalism. yeah no thanks.

“But California tax rates suck that’s why people are leaving there by the millions to red states, its a liberal hellhole” you say. Well the thing is immigrants (both legal and illegal) overwhelmingly move to California – which drives up the prices of the land and everything else. It’s not that its a ‘liberal hellhole’ as much as people like to move there because of the weather and less discrimination than other states.

Now the reason why Canadians are so much more comfortable paying a higher tax rate than Americans is because we actually get something from it. We get that universal healthcare, we get subsidized education. I paid about $40k CAD for my 4 years of schooling at my university (which is #1 ranked in Canada). That’s how much it would cost to go to a top university in the USA right now *per year*.

In California, you don’t get very much for paying high taxes right now because your higher tax rates are paying for the Trump voters in the red states who have lower tax rates. The federal government uses your tax dollars to help fund Medicare, Medicaid, education etc and Californians effectively are subsidizing the people in the poorer red states, yup the same guys who want California to leave the US and call them a liberal hellhole are ironically the ones who are receiving the most benefit from Californians!

Now if I said, hey everybody pay the same effective tax rate as California, and in exchange everyone gets free healthcare, cheaper education, and reduce the national debt, I think a lot of people would go for that wouldn’t you? The problem is right now the government wastes tax dollars, which I think is an inherent problem with how the US government is set up right now. Every senator or Rep is influenced by pork barrel spending and corporate (NRA, Wall Street) or military interests are way too powerful, and as a result most Americans really do not get a lot for their tax money. Which is a shame, because democratic Socialism really isn’t that bad guys, as long as the government is effective.

Well I think I ranted long enough here, but these 5 myths are widely believed amongst today’s Republicans and thus I cannot say as a well educated millenial that I would align with them in any way.

Categories
Music School/Work

Stress, Stress

I think ironically, though I am only taking 3 courses this semester, I’m somehow busier than last semester. Anyways, I’ve been job searching the past few weeks, and it’s almost like having another course because I have to study for these interviews. In addition to all my assignments, I think I’m booked till the end of the term.

Jan 19-28: 5 interviews, Macroeconomics midterm 2
Jan 29-Feb 4: CSC490 project proposal, 2 interviews
Feb 5-15: 490 project, 490 assignment 1, 1 interview
Feb 16-Mar 1: ECO336 midterm, ECO336 research paper,2 interviews,AIESEC review board
Mar 1-Mar18: 490 assignment 2, Macro midterm 3
Mar 19-Apr 7: Conferences, 490 project, 490 test
Apr 7+: Intense job searching if I haven’t gotten one, 2 economics finals

In addition, I have to keep actively searching for jobs + interviewing because I’m graduating in June, keep up with AIESEC duties as Communications member and Webmaster/Social media manager including weekly meetings and updates, do weekly 490 research paper summaries, and gather data for my 490 project.

Hopefully I can keep updating my blog regularly though, but we’ll see.

In the meantime, feel free to watch my amateur John Mayer covers:
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCtDpbESDmo
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6IxKNiE4JiA
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=61sNDDjjmDM
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eh45iQGOjPo
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bJ3OgfFp6N4

Categories
Politics School/Work

Thoughts today after lecture (big vs small government)

For the first time in college, I disagreed not with the professor, but with what he was teaching. The class I was in is called Public Economics, and it was about what role the government should have in the free market. Naturally, this topic is subject to political bias and the part I disagreed with was what was referred to as the ‘Second fundamental welfare theorem’ which essentially stated that the government should redistribute wealth in lump sum payments between individuals in order to make the market more efficient.

I disagree with this on several levels. Firstly, that the professor mentioned Pareto efficiency had several problems, one of which was that it introduced inequality. I argued that one of the consequences of capitalism was that it produced inequality, but it wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, and here they are treating it as something which must be fixed. I also argued that redistribution of wealth was socialism; the government should not tax one group (ie. the wealthy) to benefit another group (the poor) for the sake of equality. I argued that the principles of capitalism is that there exists a social hierarchy where one group could be better off than the other. This makes the economy more competitive. The power of the free market will hold true, mostly. The Panics of 1873, 1893, 1907, the Great Depression, and the current recession being examples of where government intervention was needed to prevent total economic collapse, so I believe a minimal amount of regulation is needed (the Fed Reserve was created after the 1907 panic). Some regulation is needed, but not too much so that it doesn’t interfere with private enterprise.

The professor’s response was that socialism wasn’t necessarily bad, but I think that this is a point of ideological contention. Liberals would agree, but me as a conservative would disagree with government taking such a big role in society. Health care is another issue, that I think should be left to private enterprise. One reason is that businesses are able to use money more effectively than government. If the goal of every business is to make profit, then the quality of private services should always equal or exceed that of the government, which doesn’t make profit, therefore has no incentive to provide good quality. Second, it gives individuals choice. If I want health care then I will pay for it, even if the premiums are higher, so what I am getting better quality. And if someone who is poor can’t afford health care then so be it, that’s the nature of survival of the fittest. If I don’t want health care, then I don’t pay for it, and I’m not taxed to provide health care to others (which is what the single payer system does). To me, health care is a privilege, not a right.

Here is the fundamental difference between the US and Canada; the US promotes little intervention by the government in the free market, they have a food stamp system for low income earners; Canada has the welfare system. The US’s ideology is to cut taxes for people, but especially the high income earners, in the belief that they will use that tax money saved to invest more and hire more workers, which is trickle down economics. Canada’s ideology is to tax the rich and middle class more such that public goods such as healthcare and subsidies could be provided to the lower class.

I do not agree that society should somehow be more equal; that is on the path to communism, and eliminates the competitiveness of the economy. When everybody is equal, no one has incentive to move up, and therefore productiveness and competitiveness fall. This is why I believe Canadian workers and the Canadian economy is both less productive and less competitive than the American economy. In Canada, because of this huge social safety net, one has less incentive to do better, whereas in America, people have the desire to achieve and aim higher because everyone is out for themselves.

In short, though I disagree with the professor and the material he teaches, I can’t drop this course, so I will have to do my best to push aside any political commentary I may have. I do question the ‘fundamental’ theorem though, because being a theorem, it assumes that it’s always right, and there are lots of economists in the US, along with me, that would disagree with that assumption.