Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Michael Barone: Do We Have to Watch Their Wretched Movie All Over Again?

 Why do I feel that I have seen this movie before? 

 I would like to think that learning is cumulative. But I'm beginning to think that every generation or two, people need to learn all over again the lessons that have unaccountably been forgotten or tossed aside. The elderly among us can see this, even as young people are inclined to insist that they are experiencing things never before experienced by humans and that this time will be different. Let's take it issue by issue:

    The consumer price index for June rose on an annual basis before seasonal adjustment by 5.4%. That's higher than May, which suggests that inflation is accelerating. And it's far above the 2% annual rate, which is the professed goal of the Federal Reserve. Treasury Secretary and former Fed Chair Janet Yellen insisted that the jumps in prices are just temporary adjustments to the COVID-19 economy, although she's extended the period for adjustments. Current Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said he's not worried and will keep interest rates low.

    They've got the bond market on their side. But those expressing alarm include not only the Wall Street Journal editorial page but also Harvard economist and Clinton administration Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers. He's been arguing for months that President Joe Biden's administration is pumping too much money into the economy.

    Consumers may agree: A New York Fed survey showed they expect a 4.8% annual rise in prices over the next year. We learned in the 1970s that once people start expecting inflation, they start to feed it by raising prices and boosting wages to keep ahead of the trend. 

    We know how to get rid of inflation. Former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker -- appointed by Jimmy Carter and supported by Ronald Reagan -- raised interest rates and triggered a steep recession from which a low-inflation growth economy eventually emerged. Are we ready for that kind of pain again? 


    Calendar year 2020 saw a 25% increase in homicides, the highest since 1960 and higher than in any single year in the 1965-75 decade when the number of violent crimes almost tripled. They seem to be rising by similar rates this year. 

    Many people don't like to admit it, but this is obviously a result of the de-policing movement urged by Black Lives Matter and cheered on by liberal editorial writers, corporate moguls and Silicon Valley monopolists. 

    They applauded and declared exempt from COVID-19 restrictions the "mostly peaceful" demonstrations against supposed systemic police misconduct. Few, if any, deplored the nearly 600 violent riots that caused some $2 billion in damage. If the experience of the 1960s is a guide, this will severely damage modest-income neighborhoods for decades after. 

    Once again, solutions are visible for those with sufficient memory. The intensive policing tactics of Rudy Giuliani and Bill Bratton in New York City in the 1990s -- copied and adapted by many others around the country -- cut violent crime rates by more than half. Thousands of Black lives were saved -- and the number of Black people with prison records reduced. Neighborhoods once abandoned to criminals were revived with new jobs and opportunities. 

    Can that happen again? Maybe Eric Adams, the ex-New York Police Department officer who seems sure to be elected mayor of NYC in November, can show the way. Or maybe we'll have to wait out a couple of high-crime decades, as we did after 1965-75.


    Does the United States need 1 or 2 million new illegal immigrants? The Biden administration apparently thinks so. It has opened the southern border to tens of thousands of supposed asylum seekers; not just from Central America and Mexico but also from Haiti, the Middle East and Africa. 

    The illegal immigrant population increased from 3.5 million in the 1990s to 8.4 million in 2000 and peaked at 12.2 million in 2007, then dropped and leveled off at 10.5 million in 2017, according to Pew Research.

    The 2007-08 recession reduced low-skill immigration over the southern border to zero. Trump administration agreements with Mexico kept it down. As a result, low-skill Americans saw greater percentage wage gains than the rich, even as immigrant inflow became increasingly high-skill. What was so terrible about that?

    It may be that these problems will just solve themselves: Inflation will subside, as many economists expect; violent crime will subside, de-policing or not; recent border crossers will meet their court dates and legalize their status. 

    But maybe not. In which case, doesn't it make sense to go back and update policies that worked rather than watch this movie go on at agonizing length?

    Michael Barone is a senior political analyst for the Washington Examiner, resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and longtime co-author of The Almanac of American Politics.



Anonymous said...

Power corrupts and when those in power are stupid.........power kills. Like him or not Donald Trump , celebrated New York liberal, changed parties and run for potus because he also saw this backward trend towards destruction his former party was shooting for. And for awhile he did ok in keeping it at bay. Sadly his plumbers mouth sunk us all in the end. Bottom line is that there is really no way to stop this snowball.........and in the 2022 elections, if they aren't rigged, will see change for a fleeting moment. Then what ? There is a person alive that can reverse the damage that's been done the last 7 months. We the People AS A GROUP can fix this but ummmmmm well yah know errrrr.....

Anonymous said...

Spot on!

Anonymous said...

Stop posting this RACIST shit.

Better Than Ever said...


Agreed, but I say the statement still stands, and is better if you remove the word 'racist'. The whole posting is a load of wishful thinking, bad logic, and ill written drivel.

Anonymous said...

We are all still laughing at you.

Better Than Ever said...


And if I thought you were my peer and not my subordinate I might care about that.

Anonymous said...

Stop it dude, you are too funny!

Anonymous said...

"I would like to think that learning is cumulative. But I'm beginning to think that every generation or two, people need to learn all over again the lessons that have unaccountably been forgotten or tossed aside."

Learning IS cumulative...for each individual. You learn until you die and then you stop learning. That's cumulative. What YOU learn does not transfer to others or to the next generation. How hollow-headed is it to assume knowledge can transfer. How difficult is this to understand?

Anonymous said...

Stop posting this RACIST shit.

There goes the nut-case again. Anything truthful that stings, produces a twang of guilt or points out our collective mistakes has GOT to be racist. Look, over there, a white dog....racist bitch animal!

Anonymous said...

Movie Title:
"Party in Power Takes Credit for Economic Successes and Blames Past Administration for Economic Problems"

Or simply " Hypocrisy"

We saw it in blaming Obama for the worst economic crisis since the Depression with the deregulation of Wall Street and the banks. Expectations for other than slow recovery were totally unrealistic.

There was a boom with Trump, largely because taxes and the Congress was in stale mate for 12 years.

Now, we have deficits and pandemic costs and not enough money. And, the fantasy was that pandemics have no economic consequences. Your hint that wasn't totally believed is that the same person who said it'd go away spent millions on pre-buying vaccines so we'd " corner the market".

And, after 8 years no one reformed immigration, but people in South American added Covid to reasons to try to come here...better medical help and hope for herd immunity.

Do I like that Biden is spending to try to stimulate the economy? No, only the only one I approve without reservation is a infrastructure bill( after 8 more years of neglect) which Mitch is trying to sabotage in after a tolerable joint proposal.

This blame the party game is ridiculous when you actually look at the Congress record on debt over the decades. You'll see that it's Congress that actually determines what is spent and that is a good or bad as the yahoos elected every 2 and 6 years.

Now we are electing those with personality disorders...some severe enough that they'd have been subjected to 48 hours involuntary commitment for psychiatric evaluation 50 years ago.

Anonymous said...

I appreciate My Liberal friends and listen to their opinion but the party in power seems hell bent to destroy this country. I mean they are just doing unsounds moves. Wide open border with covid running rampent and money flowing into the economy driving inflation up. And the fact that they are always trying to divide us among race, economic and religious lines. It seems they want us to hate each other. Why are they doing this?

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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