Sunday, December 31, 2023

Good-bye, 2023

As the year 2023 passes into history, most Americans are happy to see it go. Despite the best efforts of our public intellectuals turned propagandists, the American citizenry thinks that Anno Domini 2023 was a bad year indeed. 

Naturally, those who believe most fervently in democracy, especially in the will of the majority, will tell you that in this case the majority is wrong, that it holds a skewed vision of the year that is now passing.

Truth be told, one can make a case for the notion that 2023 was not such a bad year at all. In fact, one might argue that it was a good year-- unless your name was Joe Biden, of course. 

The problem is simple. If you are in charge of the country or a company, and if you had a bad year, you are, ipso facto, responsible. You will need to admit that you messed up. 

In some cases you will be required to change policy. In other cases you might even need to fall on your sword.

Anyway, cognitive therapists have taught us that it is downright unhealthy-- mentally speaking-- if we just see the dark side. We need to balance light and dark, good and bad, positive and negative.

For that reason, we are going to devote this column, and probably only this column, to the case for optimism. A commentator like Zachary Karabell might not be an aspiring flack, beholden to the party line, but he still presents the Biden administration case-- that is, it’s a lot better than you think.

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Karabell begins with a pro forma description of everything that has gone wrong, and follows it with a paean to a weight-loss drug, Ozempic.

A world where there is less obesity will be a world of more resilient bodies and bones and less diabetes, which alone is the eighth leading cause of early death in the U.S. It’s no accident that the stock price of companies that make artificial joints and insulin delivery systems took a hit this year. For the preponderance of our history on the planet, humans suffered from caloric scarcity; now, we are suffering from caloric abundance. And now, as is so often the case, we are creating solutions to problems we created.

Neither I nor Karabell has sufficient mastery of biochemistry to predict the ultimate impact of Ozempic. Among the recognized side-effects of taking this wonder drug are: nausea, diarrhea, vomiting and constipation. Those are the effects that the manufacturer admits. 

Frankly, I would feel much, much better if American citizens managed to control their appetites, without a drug whose long term impact is still shrouded in mystery. Ozempic allows us to avoid discipline, and this does not seem to me to be an unalloyed good.

As a sidelight, which may or may not be apposite, studies have discovered that weight-loss surgery, while it does reduce obesity, does not improve mental health.

After Ozempic, Karabell lists the highly dubious fact that the crime rate is going down. Dare I say that this is highly controversial. We might consider that our district attorneys have jiggered the crime rate by decriminalizing much of what would normally count as crime. 

This is not so much a statistical anomaly or an instance of the horror that Benjamin Disraeli once denounced when he said that there are lies, damn lies and statistics.

Retail theft by gangs of itinerant youth has caused stores to close, has caused prices to increase and has created empty storefronts on main streets and malls across America.

Everyone’s lived experience, to coin a phrase, says that crime is anything but declining.

After paying lip service to our efforts to save  the climate, the planet and the environment, Karabell jumps to the obvious point, namely that we avoided an economic recession in 2023.

True enough, we did not have a recession, but that does not mean that we are not going to have one next year. We might well have learned to postpone the inevitable, but, if the man on the street thinks that the economy sucks, the chances are good that the economy sucks.

While the numbers and Karabell pooh-pooh inflation, the average citizen suffers from it. Naturally, the trend is downward, but that does not mean that the trend will continue downward.

Of course, Karabell touts the vigorous stock market. If you were in the right seven stocks you made a lot of money in 2023.

Of course, history tells us that what the stock market giveth the stock market also taketh away. Let’s not be too cocky about all of this.

Besides, Karabell merely pays lip service to the wars that are ongoing in the Middle East and Eastern Europe. He ignores the singular ineptitude of the Biden presidency. And he pays nothing more than lip service to the millions of illiterate and innumerate peasants who are invading our nation. If this is the best of all possible worlds, we are in deep doodoo.

To be fair and balanced, Daniel Henninger offers a contrary take on 2023 in the same Wall Street Journal:

In the old one now being swept into the dustbin of history, the presidency reached its sell-by date, Congress was dysfunctional, food prices rose, urban crime spread, the border collapsed, and Jimmy Buffett died.

Now, Henninger finds something positive in it all. He explains that 2023 was the year most people woke up to the abysmal failure that is the American educational system. The failure of school teachers to prepare children for life outside of the classroom was made manifest in the evident idiocy of America’s college students. 

He writes:

The silver lining in 2023’s endless cloud is that this was the year the scales fell from most people’s eyes about the realities of American education, from kindergarten through graduate school. On balance, this is a good-news story. U.S. education needed fixing but like most aging infrastructure, no real fix was likely absent the forcing lever of calamity.

And then, Joshua Chaffin, columnist for the Financial Times, finds some good news in the apparent decline and fall of wokery.

When the champions of wokery appeared en masse in America’s streets calling for the blood of Jews, when it embraced Hamas as liberators, it showed its true face, and a very ugly face it was.

For me, what truly shattered the woke move­ment was Hamas’s Octo­ber 7 attack on Israel — and the aston­ish­ing images of stu­dents and act­iv­ists either jus­ti­fy­ing the slaughter of inno­cents or find­ing ways to con­demn Israel before it had yet dropped a bomb. (It has since dropped many, with the Gaza death toll reach­ing 20,000, accord­ing to offi­cials in the Hamas-run ter­rit­ory.) The prob­lem, say crit­ics, is that the woke con­cep­tion of the world — obsessed by sys­tems and iden­tity — mis­handles Jews and Israelis. It tends to cast them as wealthy “white oppress­ors”, and so can­not see them as vic­tims.

In my ultra-pro­gress­ive sub­urb, where people plant signs on their front lawns advert­ising the many hatreds they oppose, fel­low Jews have been startled by the lack of solid­ar­ity from groups they have sup­por­ted in the past. To them, and now me, the woke ban­ner we marched under a few years ago feels hol­low, even hypo­crit­ical.

Jews had fought for the civil rights of minorities only to discover that these same minorities hated them. Call them naive. But, for many it came as a shock.

For many of our bien pensant intellectuals, it came as something of a shock to discover that Jews belonged to the oppressor class and thus deserved to be murdered, raped and mutilated. 

One recalls the time, over three decades ago, when college professors, champions of deconstruction, discovered, to their chagrin, that their new method was really recycled Nazi practice. Deconstruction was a fancy term for pogrom.

So, they decided, en masse, to become champions of anti-colonialist studies. How could they have imagined that these studies would lead them to despise Israel? 

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Saturday, December 30, 2023

Saturday Miscellany

First, on the anti-Semitism watch. Dr. Eli David writes:

500,000 killed in Syria? 380,000 killed in Yemen? 240,000 killed in Afghanistan? 500,000 killed in Sudan? 300,000 killed in Iraq? It's fine. No “Doctors Against Genocide” 

Israel defends itself against Hamas? “Doctors Against Genocide” is formed.

A separate standard for Jews.

Second, the war in Ukraine is winding down. Those of us, including yours truly, who believed that a negotiated settlement was better than destruction, have been proved prescient.

From Sean Davis, of The Federalist:

It was obvious from the beginning this would only end with a negotiated settlement that included Russia claiming a large swath of land. That settlement could’ve been agreed to years ago, before hundreds of thousands of people were killed. Everyone with a brain and a soul knew it. And the only reason they were sent into the meat grinder is because a bunch of politicians in Washington and London decided years of death and misery were worth it because a profit could be made for their benefactors in the military-industrial. That’s not my opinion, as the war’s backers proudly said as much out loud. Lindsey Graham was happy to fight to the last Ukrainian. Mitch McConnell all but said wiping out a generation of Ukrainian men was a worthwhile trade for rebuilding America’s defense industry. Major national newspapers and networks published and broadcast that propaganda in both their news and editorial products. Joe Biden and the remnants of the Obama administration decided Zelensky had to be protected at any cost because of all the money that flowed to the Biden family through Ukraine. These people are monsters, who care nothing for peace or stability or human life. They are evil. They want money and power above else, but what they deserve is your total contempt.

Third, the New York Times reports on the situation in Ukraine, as of a couple of days ago:

Russian forces have recaptured land hard won by Ukrainian troops at the peak of their summer counteroffensive in the south, just as Washington announced that it was releasing the last remaining Congress-approved package of military aid available to Kyiv.

Fourth, Batya Ungar-Sargon, of Newsweek, comments on the Claudine Gay kerfuffle:

Claudine Gay is not some mistake Harvard made. A serial plagiarist with no moral compass is the apotheosis of higher ed. Our universities aren't institutes of learning but places where affluent progressives confer plaudits on each other—then render everyone else second class.

Fifth, John Sailer reports on faculty hiring practices, in history departments. It explains how we got to where we have gotten to:

Half the faculty jobs in history over the last three years focus on ethnic identity, 35% on African American history. And this doesn’t account for the jobs focused on social justice/equity. Based on what I’ve seen, this is a good picture of what’s going on throughout academia.

Sixth, the DeSantis campaign is on life support, apparently because the candidate is not sufficiently charismatic. And yet, when it comes to getting results, DeSantis outpaces them all.

Bonchie reports:

DeSantis breaks the back of the Miami teacher's union, one of the biggest education victories for any Republican in the last decade, and none of your favorite influencers have even mentioned it. But sure, it's all about campaign strategy.

Seventh, from PsyPost:

Trigger warnings are statements designed to forewarn viewers about potentially distressing content. A recent meta-analysis of 12 studies concluded trigger warnings have no effect on emotional responding to negative material or educational outcomes. This research was published in Clinical Psychological Science.

Eighth, the world’s first ecosexual has fallen in love with an oak tree. The Daily Mail has the story:

A woman describes herself as an 'ecosexual' - and says she's in an 'erotic' relationship with an oak tree.

Sonja Semyonova, 45, has always felt lonely but says her new relationship with the tree has filled a void.

Sonja, a self-intimacy guide, even says that the feelings she experiences with the tree are what she has always looked for in a person.

Sonja, from Vancouver Island, British Columbia, said: 'The presence I feel with the tree is what I'm looking for but that's a fantasy with a person.

'The feeling of being tiny and supported by something so solid. The feeling of not being able to fall”

And you thought that size didn’t matter!

Ninth, in regard to the October 7 massacre, Hamas supporters insist that it did not happen. They also insist that it did not involve sexual violence against women. 

Of course, these were lies, designed to dupe the gullible. And among America’s youth, there is no shortage of gullible dupes.

Now, as of yesterday the New York Times reported on what happened to women when Hamas invaded Israel. It turns out that it was as bad as the Israelis said it was. 

Now, since it appeared in the New York Times, even the most gullible of dupes are allowed to believe it. Anyway, here are some excerpts from the Times:

The first victim she said she saw was a young woman with copper-color hair, blood running down her back, pants pushed down to her knees. One man pulled her by the hair and made her bend over. 

Another penetrated her, Sapir said, and every time she flinched, he plunged a knife into her back. She said she then watched another woman “shredded into pieces.” 

While one terrorist raped her, she said, another pulled out a box cutter and sliced off her breast. “One continues to rape her, and the other throws her breast to someone else, and they play with it, throw it, and it falls on the road,” Sapir said.

She said the men sliced her face and then the woman fell out of view. Around the same time, she said, she saw three other women raped and terrorists carrying the severed heads of three more women. 

Sapir provided photographs of her hiding place and her wounds, and police officials have stood by her testimony and released a video of her, with her face blurred, recounting some of what she saw. 

Yura Karol, a 22-year-old security consultant, said he was hiding in the same spot, and he can be seen in one of Sapir’s photos. He and Sapir were part of a group of friends who had met up at the party. 

In an interview, Mr. Karol said he barely lifted his head to look at the road but he also described seeing a woman raped and killed. 

Since that day, Sapir said, she has struggled with a painful rash that spread across her torso, and she can barely sleep, waking up at night, heart pounding, covered in sweat.

“That day, I became an animal,” she said. “I was emotionally detached, sharp, just the adrenaline of survival. I looked at all this as if I was photographing them with my eyes, not forgetting any detail. I told myself: I should remember everything.” 

Have you seen enough? Consider this, also from the Times:

The Times viewed photographs of one woman’s corpse that emergency responders discovered in the rubble of a besieged kibbutz with dozens of nails driven into her thighs and groin.

The Times also viewed a video, provided by the Israeli military, showing two dead Israeli soldiers at a base near Gaza who appeared to have been shot directly in their vaginas.

And also,

He said he then saw five men, wearing civilian clothes, all carrying knives and one carrying a hammer, dragging a woman across the ground. She was young, naked and screaming.

“They all gather around her,” Mr. Cohen said. “She’s standing up. They start raping her. I saw the men standing in a half circle around her. One penetrates her. She screams. I still remember her voice, screams without words.”

“Then one of them raises a knife,” he said, “and they just slaughtered her.”

Please do your mind a favor and do not rationalize this barbarity by saying that Israelis had it coming. And don’t gin up your empathy for the Palestinian people who brought destruction on themselves.

Tenth, Maine’s Secretary of State, a refugee from the Southern Poverty Law Center, by the name of Shenna Bellows, is making a name for herself. Normally, I like strange names; they have their charm. 

In banning Donald Trump from the presidential primary ballot in Maine, Bellows has drawn attention to her pathetic insufficiency. After all, she is not a lawyer. 

Professor Margot Cleveland has the last word on the Bellows nonsense:

Maine Secretary of State claims that the reason Trump needed to be legally removed from the ballot was because “If his name was on the ballot, there’s a good chance people would have voted for him.”

Have we reached peak stupid? If not, we are awfully close.

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Friday, December 29, 2023

The Therapy Industrial Complex

Imagine that a child possesses over four trillion XY chromosomes. Imagine that that child is induced to believe that he is a girl. Let us add that he really, really believes that he is a girl. 

Does this make him a girl? Not for an instant. 

It’s like saying that the man who considers that his left leg is longer than his right leg and that it must be amputated, above the knee, lest he jump off the roof of the nearest skyscraper, is really anything other than delusional. Psychiatrists label him as suffering from body dysphoria.

Transgenderism is simply another delusional belief. One ought not to cave to the ambient madness and declare that some people really are trans. If by that you mean that they are really delusional, so be it. If you mean that they are really who they think they are, you are supporting their delusion.

Among the laity such beliefs are commonplace. They are still grossly wrong. The problem arises, Abigail Shrier discovered, when therapists buy the delusional belief, or else when they sell it. 

When faced with children in distress these so-called healing professionals accept delusional beliefs as real. If the child or his parents suspect that he is really a she, or vice versa, the therapist will be buying the delusion. If the patient does not suspect such a thing,the therapist will set out to sell the delusion-- and to pretend that it is science. 

In the case of Chloe Cole, her consultation with a credentialed therapist produced a series of primitive horrors. 

Shrier explains:

For Chloe, that pipeline meant puberty blockers at age 12 followed by cross-sex hormones. A medically unnecessary 

double mastectomy at age 15. By 16, she was filled with regret.

It’s easy to see this as one more ghastly entry in the macabre chronicles of gender medicine: incompetent therapists and unethical doctors deconstructing young girls’ bodies for reasons that seem alternately depraved, mendacious and confused.

And, dare we add, misogynistic.

Now that Shrier has identified a major culprit in the current wave of transmania, she starts asking whether this madness tells us something about the practice of therapy today.


Shrier continues:

Not merely of therapists’ “affirming” teens’ transgender identity, specifically. But one more instance in which the Bad Feelings experts made adolescents’ bad feelings worse.

As it happened, Chloe Cole had been undergoing various forms of therapy for years:

Like a lot of teen girls who suddenly adopt a transgender identity, Cole’s mental health treatment preceded her gender confusion. She had been medicated for ADHD starting at age nine or ten—given escalating levels of stimulants that made her feel lousy and disconnected from her body and didn’t seem to help. She now believes ADHD was a misdiagnosis.

“In general, this model of making everything a condition—if a child is different in any way, if they’re not focusing in school, if they’re a little bouncy in class and they won’t sit in their seat—it takes the responsibility off of the adults to say, ‘Okay, let’s just medicate them. That’ll fix the problem,’” Cole told me.

As you know, Shrier is a journalist. So she investigated the extent to which American children were being therapied. The result were alarming, to say the least:

In the course of my research, I became aware of three things: First, that unprecedented numbers of American kids were undergoing therapy or on psychiatric medication. Second, that therapists’ diagnoses were often altering adolescents’ self-understanding. And, third, that large numbers of parents had become profoundly dependent on therapists to guide their parenting and “fix” their kids.

One recalls, wistfully, the arrival, more than a decade ago, of Amy Chua, aka the Tiger Mom. When Chua shared her decidedly Asian and countertherapeutic ways of bringing up her daughters, when she defied the conventional wisdom of developmental psychologists and even Dr. Benjamin Spock, Wall Street Journal readers filled the comments sections with the most dire prophecies about the terrible things that would happen to her children. Obviously, none of it came true.

In any event, the psycho profession has bought into the delusion of transgenderism. 

It wasn’t only ideologically-motivated “gender therapists” who were making mischief, reifying the idea in adolescents’ minds that they were really, truly transgender. Ordinary, well-meaning therapists were doing the same, not primarily for ideological reasons. Sometimes the therapists were simply following the guidance of their accrediting organizations. But just as often, affirming the adolescent – in place of treating her – was simply par for the course. That was simply what the therapeutic relationship with the teen patient had become.

As you know, I have often had occasion to bemoan the mental state of today's Gen Z. Shrier offers one explanation-- among others-- for why this generation seems to be in trouble:

The rising generation is swimming in therapy. Forty two percent of Gen Z—those born between 1995 and 2012—has been in therapy (more than any other generation). Forty two percent has a mental health diagnosis. One recent survey indicates the extent of diagnosis may even be more dramatic: 60 percent of those between the ages of 18 and 26 may have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.

No one finds this surprising. Everyone seems to believe-- it’s the conventional wisdom-- that the fault lies with social media and telephonic gadgets. And yet, as Shrier points out, the statistics lead us to question this causal relationship:

Perhaps most alarming, by 2016—long before the Covid lockdowns and well before American kids aged 2 to 8 were even on social media—almost 20% of these little ones had a diagnosed mental, behavioral, or developmental disorder.

They are receiving unprecedented levels of mental health treatment. Curiously, they also seem to be getting worse.

You will feel even more distress when you discover that it is not just therapists who impart this dysfunction. Schoolteachers and counselors have become adjunct therapists, to the detriment not only of education, but of mental health:

For well over a decade, teachers and school counselors have assumed the mandate (and curricula, and use of instructional time) to play shrink indiscriminately with kids, often styled as “Social Emotional Learning.” Parents stopped trusting their own judgment and family traditions regarding childrearing, instead relying on shrinks to guide their parenting. And we all allowed our kids’ (largely normal) bad feelings to be pathologized by the those in the bad-feelings business.

Obviously, making the problems and torments of everyday life therapy-worthy has its consequences. If Gen Zers were not sufficiently dysfunctional to begin with, the cultural influence of therapy will make it nearly impossible for them to learn how to function socially:

For the rising generation, the language of psychopathology provides the lens with which they understand themselves and each other. Where my generation would “self-diagnose” with laziness or procrastination, the rising generation might see complex post-traumatic stress disorder or ADHD.

But while laziness can be obliterated by a change of attitude and habits, a mental health diagnosis demands treatment or accommodation. Trying to lift yourself out seems futile. And so, unsurprisingly, the generation lavishly labeled with mental health diagnoses also has the least faith in its ability to meet even routine challenges or turn their lives around.

Congratulations in advance to Abigail Shrier, for her new book, Bad Therapy, to be published in late February. 

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Thursday, December 28, 2023

A Reckoning for a Wrecked America

Victor Davis Hanson surveys the wreckage that America has become. America has undergone a great wreckoning, so Hanson now considers that it’s time for a reckoning.

He offers a somewhat optimistic take on how we can reverse our decline, or better, how we can rebuild and reconstruct the nation. But still, three years of Biden, following eight years of Obama, punctuated by four years where the radical left did everything in its power to ensure that Trump would not be able to reverse the Obama-engineered decline, is not going to be reversed by an election.

I suspect that we are beyond the point where we can simply revise and fix what is wrong.

Hanson suggests that we have, for quite some time, been running on fumes. We have been living off of past successes and have been paying down our credit line:

In some sense, the country for recent years has been cruising on the fumes from prior and likely better wiser generations and institutions. In 2024, the tab for our current apathy, toxic politics, and incompetence will come due.

What does that mean? Among other things, it means that our enemies can attack us and our allies with perfect impunity. Our vaunted military no longer deters anyone from anything, perhaps because its leaders seem more concerned with diversity in the ranks than with becoming fearsome warriors:

In 2023, it became clear, to even the most loyal supporters of the Biden administration, that the U.S. has simply lost or indeed forfeited American deterrence abroad. Our enemies do not fear us; our friends do not trust us; and neutrals do not care either way.

Abroad the news is hardly encouraging:

Either adversaries will be so emboldened to start regional wars—an impotent Iran now brags it will block the entire Mediterranean—or a United States will be shocked into action and have to deter Iran, the Houthis, and Islamic terrorism, while dealing with an opportunistic China eager to annex Taiwan, and Russia determined to finish off Ukraine.

Will this induce the military to heal itself? Considering that this is Joe Biden’s military, and that it has been pursuing a woke DEI agenda, the answer is hardly self-evident.

Those challenges will force the military to staunch its recruitment hemorrhaging, rectify low morale, and rearm. Such rebooting in turn will require discarding the woke agenda, stopping the DEI proselytizing and virtue signaling, and returning to a meritocracy focused on military preparedness and battlefield efficacy.

The term “paper tiger” comes quickly to mind. Surely, Hanson is right to see that the military should focus on preparedness and efficacy. And yet, once you have broken the system, it takes time and effort to put Humpty Dumpty back together again.

Among the Biden administration’s more dubious and destructive achievements, we count the opening America’s border to international riff raff. It is the full realization of Obama’s citizen of the world nonsense. 

Since January 2021, the Biden administration has flagrantly and unapologetically dismantled federal immigration law. It destroyed the border as we once knew it. It has already greenlighted more than 8 million illegal entrants—with another quarter-million entering each month.

In fact, those who blew up the border can’t honestly even explain to the American people why they did so. Was it to ensure future (or even present) political constituents? Cheap labor? To ensure higher taxes to pay for more government services and to “spread the wealth?” Obeyance to the diversity/equity/inclusion lobbies? To make up for fleeing blue-state population?

Hanson continues:

In 2024, either the border will close, or the United States will suffer radical political realignments, sheer chaos in our major cities, protests from Americans furious over the complete flaunting of federal law by their own elected officials, and a likely impeachment of Joe Biden for deliberately forsaking his oath to “faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States.”

Surely, no serious person argues for keeping the border opening. All sensible people want to close it, right now.

The problem is, now that we have allowed around ten million people to enter the nation illegally, what are we going to do about it? Politicians promise to deport them all, but what with the bureaucracy and the court system, that is easier said than done. You might well be optimistic about our ability to staunch the flow, but still, we are going to be spending a considerable amount of time and effort trying to figure out what to do with the new illegal migrants.

And then, we have recently had the unwelcome realization that the minds of America’s young people had gone over to the dark side. That is, when Hamas invaded Israel and massacred around 1200, America’s young people exposed an appalling level of anti-Semitism. Many of them sympathized openly with Hamas and wanted to expel Jews from Israel, the better to hand it all over to Hamas-- to a Hamas that did not build it.

As Hanson put it, American students no longer felt that they needed to hide their bigotry:

The October 7 Hamas invasion of Israel and premodern massacring of nearly 1,200 Jews—and the virulent anti-Semitism that swept our elite campuses and big cities even before the October 27 Israeli Defense Forces’ retaliatory invasion of Gaza—was a wakeup call about the racialized hatred and anti-Semitism now endemic on the Left.

Campus protestors dropped the prior protestations that they were not anti-Semitic in their hatred of Israel. Instead, they now call out Jews by name. They disrupt their homes and businesses, regardless of their views on Zionism. Pro-Hamas protestors feel free to harass Jews, and with impunity and arrogance chant genocidal chants promising the destruction of Israel and its Jewish population.

More than a few bien-pensant liberals discovered that the hatred and vilification of Donald Trump was merely disguised anti-Semitism. Who was it who said that Trump was our first Jewish president?

Third, just as startling are the undisguised hatreds emanating from radical diversity/equity/inclusion students and faculty. As the declared oppressed, they too feel exempt from any charge that they are mouthing racist and anti-Semitic venom, as they conflate Israel with the now maligned stereotyped “white” people.

And naturally, America’s universities have replaced meritocracy with idiotocracy. As I wrote yesterday, America has, for the past decades, been handing out credentials to people who did not earn them and has been giving jobs to people who cannot do them. These policies have largely wrecked higher education in America:

Our top universities are facing a perfect storm. Declining pools of students, crushing student loan debt, spiraling tuition and room and board costs, administrative bloat, defecting donors, and the public’s distrust of such people being entrusted with their children’s higher education, will all soon lead to a general reexamination of the very need of these universities in the first place, at least as they are presently constituted.

Their racialist admissions, hiring, retention, and promotion protocols are destroying meritocracy. Their mediocre curricula, grade inflation, and campus polarization have convinced the public that they are no longer deserving of the many taxpayer indulgences that shield campuses from market realities—such as massive federal research grants and subsidies, tax-free billions of dollars in private donations, tax-free endowment income in the tens of billions of dollars, and taxpayer subsidized $2 trillion in student loans.

It took decades to create this mess. Perhaps we can make a start on correcting our errors, but, imagining that we will turn it around in less than decades feels unrealistic to me.

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