Who supports local control?

When I complained about Trump’s shift toward a pro-zoning position, his supporters insisted that he was merely standing up for local control. I pointed out that this is nonsense; Trump only supports local control when local governments do what he wants them to do. (Just as he is only opposes cancel culture when he’s not doing the cancelling.)

It just took a few days for Trump to prove me right:

President Donald Trump won’t allow California schools to incorporate a curriculum based on the controversial New York Times 1619 Project.

Trump said Sunday that the Department of Education was investigating allegations that California was incorporating the 1619 Project into its lessons. He threatened to take away federal funding if they do.

It’s not about “local control”. The GOP is moving toward a pro-zoning position. Libertarians need to understand that fact.

PS. Completely off topic: People are having a field day mocking Southern Cal for suspending a professor for speaking a certain Chinese word to his class. The media says that the Chinese word in question sounds like the “n-word”. I’ve heard my wife say “nega” thousands of times—it’s probably the single most often used word in the entire Chinese language. I never once thought the word sounded like the n-word, for the simple reason that it doesn’t.

Just wait until the American public finds out that the Chinese word for pig (and pork) actually does sound almost exactly like the English word “Jew”!



22 Responses to “Who supports local control?”

  1. Gravatar of P Burgos P Burgos
    8. September 2020 at 10:00

    I disagree with you about 那个 (na ge). When I heard it said by people in Eastern China quickly, it does sound like the English “n word” to me. What part of China is your wife from?

  2. Gravatar of Benjamin Cole Benjamin Cole
    8. September 2020 at 10:00

    Trump is probably “correct” in both the “zoning” and 1619 issues, although first one must accept the world is bent as a premise.

    The US should unzone property, but it is a local issue (unless an earlier Supreme Court ruling on the constitutionality of local zoning is overturned, which would be great but unlikely).

    Dense housing belongs closer-in. Cities develop like that. Cities should constantly build high-end housing. The upper-class is the market that is profitable to serve. The point is to expand supply.

    Building dense government-financed non-market low-income housing anywhere is a bad idea, but out in suburbs by federal ukase seems PC-peevish and bad planning. You want density close in, or near mass-transit.

    Trump is right on this one (probably for the wrong reasons).

    The 1619 project is identity politics and mythology as history (much like some of the standard textbooks of the pre-1960s). Perhaps we are moving to an era where each identity group maintains its own version of US history. So a standard textbook is no longer possible, politically. Still, the 1619 project reminds me of histories about the “War Between the States” that lionize Robert E. Lee. Should federal dollars be spent on textbooks that glorify the Confederacy?

  3. Gravatar of Skeptical Skeptical
    8. September 2020 at 10:14

    Scott, not saying you’re wrong, but how “similar” it sounds is going to vary dramatically based on where the speaker is from.

    In this case it was a white middle aged man, so who knows how he pronounced the word.

    This entire thing is stupid beyond belief

  4. Gravatar of Philo Philo
    8. September 2020 at 10:18

    Nobody cares about ‘Jew/pig’–the Jews are no longer sufficiently victims.

  5. Gravatar of Cartesian Theatics Cartesian Theatics
    8. September 2020 at 10:23

    Libertarians have been pretty good about distancing themselves from right-wing statism and nationalism:

    There’s clearly no party that has been better about resisting co-option than the LP. Even when it comes to immigration, the intellectual elite are holding out (admittedly somewhat in defiance of the “populist” side). That’s why I’ll be voting for Jorgensen. Her slogan is “make America a giant Switzerland”. Why aren’t we praising her more?? Her platform is wonderful. It was so sad watching her get slammed for one Tweet in support of BLM.

  6. Gravatar of policy_wank policy_wank
    8. September 2020 at 11:13

    I also disagree you with you about the Chinese word for “that one”. It sounds a lot like the n-word. I was confused when I heard Chinese people saying it on the subway. I did some googling and found a few droll anecdotes about others making this discovery.

  7. Gravatar of Gene Frenkle Gene Frenkle
    8. September 2020 at 11:15

    With respect to the 1619 Project the big controversy is whether or not slavery was a major reason why the Patriots declared independence. From an economic perspective most people don’t quite understand the economic dynamic at play in 1776. So first off tobacco wasn’t a big export/cash crop until AFTER the Civil War. So industrialization had to be developed in order for the cigarette to be invented and the cigarette was the tobacco “killer app”. Next thing is cotton wasn’t “king” until after the cotton gin was invented in 1793. So the invention of cotton gin was a “black swan” event that made southern land from the Texas to Georgia valuable whereas prior to the cotton gin cotton could only be grown on coastal land. The big slavery cash crop prior to the cotton gin was sugar which ended up being grown most economically in Cuba and Brazil and guess which two countries had slavery even after America?? Cuba and Brazil!! So the reason Great Britain abolished slavery in its colonies was in part because their West Indian colonies simply couldn’t compete with Cuba and Brazil and all one has to do is look at a map to understand why—Cuba is the biggest Caribbean island and it has plains and so it has the most land to grow sugarcane.

    Furthermore GB knew exactly how cotton was being grown in the period leading up to the Civil War and the British had no problem importing cotton from American slave owners for the British textile mills so the notion the British had some strong moral position on slavery is dubious. In fact the South was under the impression the British would intervene on their behalf in 1861 but fortunately for America the South produced a number crop of cotton in 1860 and so the British had a lot of cotton in storage…and then India and Egypt started growing cotton as prices soared due to the outbreak of war. A modern day irony of the Civil War is that Trump’s BFF Mr. Pillow uses the superior Egyptian Cotton for his products instead of inferior American cotton…so much for “buy American”. 😉

  8. Gravatar of Ralph Ralph
    8. September 2020 at 12:37

    Please stop. This is done by both parties. One of the most egregious one was by MAD that made the drinking age 21 in every state otherwise the Interstate match for roads would be withheld. We give 18 year olds the right to vote, carry a gun and kill our enemies but NOOOO we can’t even have 3.2% beer as was very customary available on campus for 18 year olds. Give me a break

  9. Gravatar of Raver Raver
    8. September 2020 at 12:41

    PC thugs have ruined comedy in certain places, particularly on college campuses, which used to be lucrative gigs for touring comics. But I’m happy to report that the best comedy clubs in the country, The Comedy Store in LA, The Comedy Cellar in NYC, and I’m sure a bunch of other clubs around the country are as anti-PC as ever. Real comedians just don’t tolerate being censored and the business model of comedy clubs doesn’t work well without them.

    Netflix gives one a false impression of what goes on in comedy clubs. Watch a Doug Stanhope video and your faith in free speech in this country will be restored.

    It’s unclear what specifically Cleese is referring to. and I don’t know much about the UK.

  10. Gravatar of Raver Raver
    8. September 2020 at 12:51

    FYI, I recommend watching Doug Stanhope’s No Refunds, which is available on You Tube.

  11. Gravatar of msgkings msgkings
    8. September 2020 at 13:44


    Off topic, but if you care to answer that would be great.

    We hear a little more than usual about the looming national debt now that it’s blown by 100% of GDP. I know that’s not some magic number that suddenly means we have a problem….but do we have a problem?

    How do you expect the mounting debt to be addressed? Will they find a way to inflate it away? Can we raise taxes enough to close it over the long term? Do we just become Japan (stagnant but comfortable)?

  12. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    8. September 2020 at 16:20

    Skeptical, There’s a video of him, it doesn’t even sound like the n-word when he says it.

    Cartesian, She’s got my vote.

    Ralph, I agree.

    msgkings, The problem is not looming default, it’s higher future taxes.

  13. Gravatar of Benjamin Cole Benjamin Cole
    8. September 2020 at 17:33

    Side note of the day for anyone:

    A durable society places an emphasis on citizenship and producers.

    The US media has brainwashed people into believing they are consumers and members of identity groups.

    Yes, I know about Frederic Bastiat.

    But if you want to consume, you got to produce.

  14. Gravatar of Gene Frenkle Gene Frenkle
    8. September 2020 at 18:16

    Ben Cole, that is a big reason I support reparations for descendants of American slaves—at the end of the day producers end up with the reparations dollars. But initially the money goes into the bank accounts of a group of people that have lived in America the longest while being denied full citizenship for centuries…so a classic “win win”.

    Btw, every American should celebrate people becoming rich as long as everyone has a safe and comfortable home and healthy food to eat and access to health care. So I thought the Piketty wealth inequality phase was pretty stupid…but then in this recession the rich get richer while lower class people are risking their health working in fast food or getting evicted or standing in food lines. So I think rich people are going to have to do a better job making sure people have homes that they aren’t in fear of losing and some savings for food if they lose their jobs…and if Tesla wouldn’t move to a state that discriminates against the LGBTQ community why are they moving to Texas that refuses to expand Medicaid??

  15. Gravatar of Skeptical Skeptical
    8. September 2020 at 19:57

    Watched the video. He literally defines the word as “that”, puts it in cultural context, and then compares it to saying “er” in English.

    I thought it would at least be pronounced weirdly enough and out of context to give some level of plausibility. Nope.


  16. Gravatar of Benjamin Cole Benjamin Cole
    9. September 2020 at 00:31

    Gene Frenkle:

    I enjoy your commentary.

    Maybe reparations to descendants of slaves, despite the impossibility of administration, are a good idea. Maybe race relations would improve. Good for it. Meanwhile, I will research my genealogy….

    How about this idea: The US Federal Reserve buys $500 billion annually in foreign sovereign bonds for next 20 years.

    Use the interest earned to meet debt payment on the national debt.

    Not fair, but it might work.

    See the Swiss National Bank foreign sovereign bond-buying program.

    But, remember, inside the The Temple of Macroeconomic Theology, this is the key chant:

    “It is not whether an economic program works in practice; it is whether it works in theory.”

  17. Gravatar of Michael Rulle Michael Rulle
    9. September 2020 at 07:04

    RE:Chinese pronunciation issue.

    Remember the controversy over the word niggardly? At first I thought it was a made up satire. But my guess is no one ever writes or uses that word anymore. I suppose each of us could come up with a reason why this is okay–one of them being that there are plenty of synonyms one can use. Still, it shows how desperate many are to hunt down racism—even where it does not exist.

    But it is absurd and it is very consistent with everything that is happening around the term “social justice”. I would love someone to define what that means and describe the policies required to enhance social justice—and how one might implement them—because I honestly do not know what it means—-except for police behavior—-against one race only. We seem to have plenty of laws and affirmative action. Ok with me. So what else?

    While Scott seems to thing the hub bub over a Chinese pronunciation is funny because it is so absurd—it is not off topic at all. I don’t know how tough Chinese Americans are regarding phony issues—but my guess is that pronunciation will change toward the “correct” one soon—even as Scott says it already is correct—as if anyone cares about that. Some of his readers already disagree with the “sound” of the word–implicitly making he case that it matters.

    Scott worries about our growing Banana Republic–wrong analogy—I worry about our growing Maoism.

  18. Gravatar of Cove77 Cove77
    9. September 2020 at 07:05


  19. Gravatar of Gene Frenkle Gene Frenkle
    9. September 2020 at 07:30

    Ben Cole, administration of reparations would be very easy because it is really stimulus. So in 2021 you simply deposit $40k into every bank account of African American ages 30-50 that had a Black ancestor that was a citizen in 1960 and obviously with an income limit so Black doctors don’t get the lump sum. For those ages 51 and over they get $10k plus an extra $200/month in SS starting at 62 to 72. For those 29 and younger they get free college or vocational college and then when they graduate or serve 4 years in the military or hit a certain # of SS credits they get $10k. Every descendant of slaves gets access to the affordable home program.

  20. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    9. September 2020 at 08:17

    Skeptical, Serious question. Does Southern Cal have some sort of Board of Trustees? And do they ever do “interventions” with the college administrators, to prevent SoCal from becoming the laughing stock of the entire country? Seriously, what’s going on here?

    Michael, Banana republics have both fascists and Maoists. Check out Venezuela or Bolivia.

  21. Gravatar of Skeptical Skeptical
    9. September 2020 at 13:02

    While Scott seems to thing the hub bub over a Chinese pronunciation is funny because it is so absurd—it is not off topic at all. I don’t know how tough Chinese Americans are regarding phony issues—but my guess is that pronunciation will change toward the “correct” one soon—even as Scott says it already is correct—as if anyone cares about that.

    Yeah, no Chinese American is going to change their pronunciation of the word they use most when speaking in Mandarin.

    Skeptical, Serious question. Does Southern Cal have some sort of Board of Trustees? And do they ever do “interventions” with the college administrators, to prevent SoCal from becoming the laughing stock of the entire country? Seriously, what’s going on here?

    No idea, not an alum of USC. But I can assure you they’ve been the laughing stock of California for some time.

  22. Gravatar of Matthias Görgens Matthias Görgens
    11. September 2020 at 18:04

    Michael, there’s nothing new about niggardly: compare how Americans long ago switched from cock to rooster.

    The surface level concern were different, the language policing seems similar.

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