Forced to work for money, Combat! sucks

The free market at work

Remember yesterday, when I said I’d see you today with Friday links? Tough news, champ. The management at Combat! blog loves you very much, but someone bought our time today. You guys know you’re my favorites. But you pay me very little. I must conform my life to those endeavors likely to sustain it, and talking that mess on the old yakbox, as blogging is called, sustains little. It’s probably because my dad isn’t a wealthy blogger, either. The whole blog-based American economy is rigged—a maze with no exit, designed to keep us in roughly the same place we started. If you don’t believe me, ask the Washington Post.

They’re one of several outlets to cite a study of how many Americans have earned more than their parents, from 1940 to the present day. I’ll give you the good news first: we won World War II. The bad news is that since then, the percentage of adults who make more than their parents has declined—sharply. While 92% of children born in 1940 wound up earning more than their parents, only 46% of adults born in 1990 do. If you’ve been born since then, and your version of the American Dream involves buying anything, you have half the chance your grandparents did.

Maybe that’s because there’s been no economic growth since the 1970s—even when you adjust income for taxes and transfers, or tax-funded benefits—for half of American households. Spoiler alert: It’s the bottom half. But half! That’s astonishing. Even as it doubled in size, the economy managed to do nothing for half of us, for the last 40 years. That’s from your boy Thomas Piketty, that dude Emmanuel Saez, and some new jack named Gabriel Zucman who was probably in charge of writing everything down.

Anyway, there’s quantitative proof that we live in a less just society. Or maybe it’s just a more efficient one. How that looks probably depends on where you sit. If I had to estimate it, I’d say there’s about a 50 percent chance of you coming down on either side. What a time to be alive.

The day after we deported the immigrants


The day after we deported the last illegal immigrant, America was not yet great again. That’s to be expected. Even though illegal immigrants had been causing a lot of problems, something as complex as the United States isn’t going to turn around overnight. We’re talking about a whole, complicated system. It would take a while for the job creators to restaff the illegal immigrant’s old, illegal jobs with working-class white people. Rome wasn’t built in a day.

But then, on the anniversary of the day we deported the last illegal immigrant, America still wasn’t great. The factories hadn’t opened up again, and houses cost about the same as they did before. They were still too slow at the doctor’s office. The busboys were all white teenagers with no sense at all, but otherwise, little had changed.

We figured something must have gone wrong, and it didn’t take long to figure out what. Even though we had gotten rid of the illegals, there were still a bunch of legal immigrants who were basically the same people. They came from the same places. They looked and talked the same way: different. The only difference between an illegal immigrant and a legal immigrant is a piece of paper, and that’s no difference at all. When you’re tackling a project as big as making America great again, you have to tell it like it is. Anybody who says otherwise is just being politically correct.

So we deported all the legal immigrants, too. Anybody who wasn’t born here was out. We figured that would make America great again. But after a year or so, everything was still about the same. If anything, the doctor’s office got even slower, and there were a lot fewer restaurants. But the big stuff—jobs, terrorism, that overall feeling that everything was getting worse—hardly changed at all. All we did was spend a billion dollars on trains.

Then we realized what it was: Even though we had gotten rid of all the immigrants, their kids were still here. Technically, they were born in America. But everybody knows that if your parents are from Mexico or Syria, you’re not going to learn American values. You’re going to learn what they teach you. All those people were running around keeping America from being great, acting like this was their country just because they grew up here. And then they turn around and indoctrinate their kids!

It was a real problem, so to make America great again, we deported people whose parents or grandparents were immigrants. A lot of people didn’t have their grandparents’ birth certificates, and some didn’t even know who all of their grandparents were, so we deported them, too, just to be safe. Now everyone in America is an American, and it’s going to be great. I mean, what else could the problem be?