The Left goes left, Taibbi, investments
I’ve noticed something lately: The liberals I opposed in my youth are the thinkers I enjoy the most these days.
I was born conservative. Not Alex Keaton conservative, but definitely on the Right and far more politically interested than my peers.
As a student at the University of Michigan and Notre Dame, I always found myself to the right of my acquaintances, often uncomfortably so.
But now, 30 years later? Those old liberals and I have moved closer together.
I no doubt drifted a bit to the Left. Although my history studies and innate conservatism initiated my interest in converting to Catholicism, once I joined the Church, I adopted a worldview and faith that tempered my more conservative instincts.
But I was still a JPII convert, which means I have remained conservative.
So I’ve concluded those liberals from my youth have drifted to the Right, which would be normal. People get more conservative as they get older, especially once they have kids and realize that it’s a beautiful world that doesn’t need to be torn down by a centralized state to create a world you’d prefer. When you hold that baby, you think, “This is alright. Right here, right now.” And at that moment, your mental landscape shifts to the Right.
Liberalism is discontent with present moment. Conservatism is contentment with the present moment. That’s why liberalism wants to change things and conservatives want to keep them the same. It doesn’t make one correct and one wrong. It’s just the way things are.
It also means that those self-identified “Lefties” in their 50s are beginning to think more like me. They’re still Leftists, but they have sensibilities more like mine. I’m talking about folks like Bill Burr, Joe Rogan, and Matt Taibbi.
These guys are all liberals, but they all have kids and have drifted right.
And on top of that, the Left has drifted radically and powerfully Left, giving the older Leftists who have retained their common sense a great deal of hesitation . . . or at least leaving them with a lot of questions.
I think that’s what makes Rogan and Taibbi so enjoyable.
Taibbi recently logged in with a plea for a new media system. It’s worth reading, though it’s not as good as his piece last June that documented how his Left now scares and annoys him with its relentless politicking.
Now that same inconsolable paranoiac comes at you with left politics, and isn’t content with ruining the odd holiday dinner, blind date, or shared cab. He or she does this infuriating interrogating at the office, in school, and in government agencies, in places where you can’t fake a headache and quietly leave the table.
Two trillion dollars of stimulus. The inflation has to kick-in at some point, right? Economics 101: The more plentiful something is, the less it’s worth. The more dollars, the less each of them is worth, which means you need more of them to buy stuff.
But I’ve been saying that for 12 years and it never happens (because the dollar is the world reserve currency and other nations sell us their real goods for our paper).
But this time will be different, right? Right?
I don’t know. But I set up a Robinhood account in December to buy cryptocurrencies, and it’s up 50% in the first 30 days.
What else can you buy? Maybe bank stocks. If the Federal Reserve increases rates to stop inflation, that’s great for banks’ bottom line. But if there’s Weimar-like runaway inflation, can’t debtors pay off their debt instantly with worthless dollars, thereby destroying the lending side of those institutions? I honestly don’t know the answer to that.
You can always buy precious metals, but that comes with a host of its own problems. I used to own physical precious metal but got rid of it a long ago in favor of PM investments with audited vaults of the stuff. I know, I know: it’s not quite the same thing, but it’s close enough for me. I’d rather stock food than metals.
Two investment advisers have told me that the days of the giant stocks and their giant gains are probably over. It’s time for small companies and entrenched value companies like IBM and their solid dividends to shine. We’ll see.
Reading: The Duty of Delight: The Diaries of Dorothy Day. I’ve been reading this off-and-on for a few years. At 754 pages, it’s no wonder I am able to return to this book for long draughts but never seem to drain it. If Day teaches me nothing else, she at least introduced me to the fascinating Peter Maurin.
Listening: Avant Gardener, by Courtney Barnett. I don’t know why I like this song. I like her voice, the lyrics crack me up (reminiscient of Edie Brickell’s “What I Am”), and it is, at the beginning, about gardening and I’m already getting the planting itch.
Quote: “How can anyone read history and still trust politicians?” Thomas Sowell.