How to Teach the Young about 'Change'

I was talking to a young skull full of mush last week, opining on how I felt we were in a time of confusion. Then he uttered the word “Change.”

That’s when I made my mistake. I should have drawn him out on his understanding of the word Change instead of closing him down by saying that the only real recent change was from the agricultural era to the industrial era 200 years ago. Then I could have taught him a thing or two about his Change.

“Change,” we all know, is a totemic word for the left. It means the hope of transformation from the present hell under the oppressors and exploiters through the emancipation and liberation of left-wing activism. It is why Barack Obama ran under the banner of “Hope and Change” and named the website of his presidential transition Change.gov. It is the faith in the power of politics to change lives.

In fact, as Scott Adams suggests, politics is just a form of hypnotism, for hypnotism is a technique of persuading someone that wants to be persuaded.

[H]ypnotists rely on our irrational brain wiring to persuade. The most effective politicians do the same.

People believe in Change because their irrational brain wiring wants to believe in Change. That is why everyone was all excited when President Obama became the First Black President. African Americans, in particular, thought they had gone to heaven. Only they hadn’t. They had just been hypnotized.

It’s simple. Change doesn’t change your life: you just want to believe it will.

So the way to plant a little seed of doubt in that skull full of mush is to rehearse the hypnotic Changes of the last century or so.

There was wage-and-hour legislation to stop employers from forcing workers to work long hours. What a great idea! In Massachusetts they reduced the work week in 1912. But when the employers lowered the weekly wage to reflect the shorter hours, the textile workers in Lawrence were outraged and went on strike. Like today’s minimum wage activism, wage-and-hour legislation is a magic incantation. That’s Change for you.

There was union legislation, to allow employees to organize against their employer. Fabulous! So union workers thrived for a season, and then broke their private-sector employers with work rules that made their employers non-competitive and bankrupted them with unaffordable pensions. Today the only thriving labor unions are government-employee unions that are in the process of bankrupting the states and ruining little old ladies holding municipal bonds. But for now, public employees can retire on magnificent pensions. This is Change?

There was public education. Horace Mann told us back in the 1840s that the “common school” would reduce crime by 90 percent. That was just before the Irish headed up the big crime wave of the 1840s. And today’s schools are particularly bad in inner cities where poor people live. What kind of Change is that?

There was civil rights. Fifty years ago it was going to end race discrimination. Yet just last week a black college professor told the world in the New York Times that her children could not be friends with white kids and liberals keep telling us racism is alive and well. So what was the point of the Civil Rights Acts, affirmative action, diversity and inclusion? My liberal friends tell me that the cops are still out there killing black kids. If all this Change didn’t change things for the better, if all whites are still racists 50 years later, what was the point?

Oh yeah. Health care? How’s that ObamaCare doin’, kid? Change got your tongue?

Here’s a frightening thought. The problem is not racists, sexists, homophobes, and deplorables. The problem is a ruling class that keeps trying to do things that don’t work, keeps reinforcing failure for decades, and then screams Fascism! when a Donald Trump comes along and wants to drain the swamp.

That’s why my Perfect Plan is directed like a laser beam at our ruling class.

Part One: Hey ruling class! Just teach the migrants to the city how to become middle-class city people. Don’t bribe them with benefits; don’t poison them with identity politics; don’t mew them up with taxes and regulations; and don’t hypnotize them with talk about Change. And don’t buy their votes with free stuff. I’m talking to you, New York Times readers.

Part Two: Learn to be tolerant of ordinary middle-class deplorables, just as you insist that the deplorables tolerate your Rocky Horror freaks. I’m talking to you, ruling class.

Now I don’t pretend that my Change Talk will cure young millennials and Z-generationers of their ruling-class indoctrination. But it might shake them up a bit.

Christopher Chantrill @chrischantrill runs the go-to site on US government finances, usgovernmentspending.com. Also get his American Manifesto and his Road to the Middle Class.

I was talking to a young skull full of mush last week, opining on how I felt we were in a time of confusion. Then he uttered the word “Change.”

That’s when I made my mistake. I should have drawn him out on his understanding of the word Change instead of closing him down by saying that the only real recent change was from the agricultural era to the industrial era 200 years ago. Then I could have taught him a thing or two about his Change.

“Change,” we all know, is a totemic word for the left. It means the hope of transformation from the present hell under the oppressors and exploiters through the emancipation and liberation of left-wing activism. It is why Barack Obama ran under the banner of “Hope and Change” and named the website of his presidential transition Change.gov. It is the faith in the power of politics to change lives.

In fact, as Scott Adams suggests, politics is just a form of hypnotism, for hypnotism is a technique of persuading someone that wants to be persuaded.

[H]ypnotists rely on our irrational brain wiring to persuade. The most effective politicians do the same.

People believe in Change because their irrational brain wiring wants to believe in Change. That is why everyone was all excited when President Obama became the First Black President. African Americans, in particular, thought they had gone to heaven. Only they hadn’t. They had just been hypnotized.

It’s simple. Change doesn’t change your life: you just want to believe it will.

So the way to plant a little seed of doubt in that skull full of mush is to rehearse the hypnotic Changes of the last century or so.

There was wage-and-hour legislation to stop employers from forcing workers to work long hours. What a great idea! In Massachusetts they reduced the work week in 1912. But when the employers lowered the weekly wage to reflect the shorter hours, the textile workers in Lawrence were outraged and went on strike. Like today’s minimum wage activism, wage-and-hour legislation is a magic incantation. That’s Change for you.

There was union legislation, to allow employees to organize against their employer. Fabulous! So union workers thrived for a season, and then broke their private-sector employers with work rules that made their employers non-competitive and bankrupted them with unaffordable pensions. Today the only thriving labor unions are government-employee unions that are in the process of bankrupting the states and ruining little old ladies holding municipal bonds. But for now, public employees can retire on magnificent pensions. This is Change?

There was public education. Horace Mann told us back in the 1840s that the “common school” would reduce crime by 90 percent. That was just before the Irish headed up the big crime wave of the 1840s. And today’s schools are particularly bad in inner cities where poor people live. What kind of Change is that?

There was civil rights. Fifty years ago it was going to end race discrimination. Yet just last week a black college professor told the world in the New York Times that her children could not be friends with white kids and liberals keep telling us racism is alive and well. So what was the point of the Civil Rights Acts, affirmative action, diversity and inclusion? My liberal friends tell me that the cops are still out there killing black kids. If all this Change didn’t change things for the better, if all whites are still racists 50 years later, what was the point?

Oh yeah. Health care? How’s that ObamaCare doin’, kid? Change got your tongue?

Here’s a frightening thought. The problem is not racists, sexists, homophobes, and deplorables. The problem is a ruling class that keeps trying to do things that don’t work, keeps reinforcing failure for decades, and then screams Fascism! when a Donald Trump comes along and wants to drain the swamp.

That’s why my Perfect Plan is directed like a laser beam at our ruling class.

Part One: Hey ruling class! Just teach the migrants to the city how to become middle-class city people. Don’t bribe them with benefits; don’t poison them with identity politics; don’t mew them up with taxes and regulations; and don’t hypnotize them with talk about Change. And don’t buy their votes with free stuff. I’m talking to you, New York Times readers.

Part Two: Learn to be tolerant of ordinary middle-class deplorables, just as you insist that the deplorables tolerate your Rocky Horror freaks. I’m talking to you, ruling class.

Now I don’t pretend that my Change Talk will cure young millennials and Z-generationers of their ruling-class indoctrination. But it might shake them up a bit.

Christopher Chantrill @chrischantrill runs the go-to site on US government finances, usgovernmentspending.com. Also get his American Manifesto and his Road to the Middle Class.

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