Wednesday, February 26, 2020

The Unseen Threat of Economic Thinking - Economic Politics vs Political Economy pt5

SoOo... why in the face of 'impeachment' and Virginia threatening gun confiscations (Fail!) & red-flag arrests, and young people being open to socialism, and Bernie Sanders winning primaries to give it to them, why the heck am I still going on with this series of posts about the perils of viewing the world through the lens of economic thinking in general and 'Free Trade!' in particular? To answer that, let me ask you a couple questions:
  • Do you think of Bernie Sanders as running on economic issues?
  • Do you see gun confiscation and socialism as being different issues?
While that may or may not furrow your brow, let me ask you one more question: If you knew about two imminent dangers to you, one a visible & possibly violent threat (a burglar, let's say), and a second unseen threat that could severely injure or kill you... but is easily avoided and fixed with maintenance (let's say a barely visible hairline crack across one spot of your 3rd floor balcony, which is covering a hole that'll plunge the next person stepping on it down to the rocks below), you'd quickly prioritize the threats and act accordingly, right? But if you were only aware of the threat you can see - which is the greater threat then? What if your plan to confront the burglar involves your standing on the balcony floor where that 'crack' is? Doesn't that make the unseen threat a greater danger to you, precisely because you aren't aware of it?

That's why I'm over here raising the alarm about the unseen & expanding hole in the American mind that is covered over by Economic Thinking. The very real threats of 'impeachment', of politically correct sanctuary cities and politically incorrect 'Sanctuary Counties', of threats to those rights protected by the 1st and 2nd Amendments, and of young people being open to the 'socialism' that Bernie Sanders is dying to give them, these are all threats that we can see coming (if you're willing to see & identify them). But effectively defending ourselves against such threats as those that we can see, requires us to take a stand upon the deepest of American ideals that have been critically undermined by the mistaken (at best) one-eyed nature of economic thinking; thinking which has become a conceptual throw-rug that we've tossed over the dangerously expanding hole in the foundation of America's ideals.

Sometimes both the seen and unseen threats are difficult to see, and then sometimes they're both carelessly brought right out into the open, but even then you do still have to bother with looking. For instance, early last year the the seen and unseen threats were brought out into public view, when Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.)'s Chief of Staff revealed the nature of their political plans,
"...Chakrabarti had an unexpected disclosure. “The interesting thing about the Green New Deal,” he said, “is it wasn’t originally a climate thing at all.” Ricketts greeted this startling notion with an attentive poker face. “Do you guys think of it as a climate thing?” Chakrabarti continued. “Because we really think of it as a how-do-you-change-the-entire-economy thing.”
While it may be a little unusual that they announced their deceptions right out in the open where everyone can see, the only unusual part is that they are being open about attempting to deceive the public - it's the deception that's the norm. The opponents of a Free Market necessarily cannot openly and honestly compete with it on any level, and so their anemic systems of 'Progressivism', Socialism, Democratic Socialism, Fascism, Communism, Mercantilism, etc., etc., etc., must mislead, misidentify, wheedle, inveigh, and flat out lie about their intentions. The schemes they boldly proclaim for helping the 'little people' are always blatant lies peddled in the pursuit of power. It takes a decent regard for history to understand, and care, that such plans will deliver those same 'little people' into states of brutal impoverishment and quite possibly systematic murder.

Those who aren't or weren't aware of such dishonesty, can be woken up to their danger, simply by pointing out the facts behind what they openly say and do, if they are concerned with and able to recognize what is true, good, and proper. But - and here's where the unseen danger creeps in - how alarmed are they likely to become, if they don't see the nature of these plans as being any more significant, than just a different set of economic policies than we're used to? Can the rest of us really expect to see an effective defense against Bernie & AOC's policies to be mounted, by those who self identify as being supporters of 'Free Trade!', when they also see that as being a matter of economic policies? How strong of a stand should we expect them to be able to take against Bernie & AOC's economic policies, when they are mentally standing upon that same unsupportable philosophic 'crack' of economic and utilitarian thinking (see previous post), as those they're supposed to be defending us against?

What do I mean by that? The Leftists, Socialists, Communists, etc, start with economic policies based upon an 'Economic Interpretation of History' (see Marx). Libertarians begin by supporting their economic policies by deriving them from their economic interpretation of history (see Murray Rothbard, etc). Conservatives today cheerfully begin making their case with the 'Capitalism!' that Marx told them was Adam Smith's economic view of history (Adam Smith taught no such view, and had no such notion of 'capitalism')... while perhaps tossing in a convenient reference or two to the "Constitution!", and the importance of (unconstitutional) regulatory agencies to ensure a 'level playing field', and laws to ensure 'good' choices are made by people... who're lawfully prevented from actually making those choices. All of these begin by making their points from the shiny surface level of economics, few if any of them bothers with offering or seeking any deeper philosophical or ethical foundations for their thinking, and so they have no moral high ground from which to identify them as being wrong from, no universal position to clarify the givens and measures of their positions from.

All they can offer, what with their presumption that 'economic man is the measure of all things', is economic measurements and projections of GDP to counter the other side's sympathetic appeals to 'fairness!', and so they endlessly battle on over statistics & assertions which neither side has any means of making any headway against. The problem of course, is that when facts & principles can't be supported (which going no deeper makes it easy to get away without doing), emotions & passions will carry the day. With ease. Feeling the Bern yet?

Can our 'Free Trade!' defenders, effectively defend us against what have historically proven to be the most passionately appealing fallacies of economic thinking, using only tone-deaf sophistries of their own economic thinking?

Doesn't the record of our past and present history answer that with a clear 'No'? And yet that is how the 'Right' actually does play the game, as the 'Left' well knows. For instance, despite all of the errors and 'mistruths' which this Newsweek article "Bernie Sanders is a Democratic Socialist NOT a Communist, here's the difference" advances in valiantly striving to explain how that distinction without a difference matters, they accurately describe the approach that the 'Right' takes towards describing the problem with Bernie:
"...Many right-wing critics have argued that the ideas espoused by Sanders and other democratic socialists in Congress would lead to the collapse of the U.S. economy, and transform the country into a struggling state similar to South America's Venezuela. However, Botting and Cohen said this assessment was inaccurate, pointing out that Sanders' proposals align more closely with those already implemented by wealthy northern European countries..."
Their assessment of the 'Right' is confirmed with this article from Forbes, "Why Young Voters Are Embracing Bernie Sanders And Democratic Socialism", as it chalks Bernie's popularity up to economic issues not favoring 'the youth' at the moment. Remarkably, the unchecked progression of this, which our current events reflect, has even left many on the Left dazed & confused, as MSNBC's Chris Matthews was surprised to find himself having to tell people not only that
"I've seen what socialism is like. I don’t like it. Okay? It's not only not free. It doesn’t freaking work. It just doesn’t work....”"
, and that if the Communists had won the Cold War
"...there would have been executions in Central Park and I might have one of the ones getting executed and certain other people would be there cheering, okay? So, I have a problem with people who took the other side."
Chris Matthews, after decades of passionately promoting socialistic politicians and policies, seems surprised to have to explain the problems of socialism to his audience. Did he not understand that his own book, which advised a Machiavellian gaming of power without regard for 'silly' notions of what is right and true (which Jon Stewart devastatingly called him out on) would encourage people who don't care about what's right or wrong, to execute their opposition in Central Park? I sure hope he and the Democrat party leaders have read David Faris's comments in 'The Week', as he said that such Democrats as Chris Matthews should just get over it already, after all,
"...Sanders has been a national figure for nearly five years, and wall-to-wall hysteria about socialism has done little to dim the public's enthusiasm for him..." since years of polling data "...suggests Sanders would be a very strong general election candidate."
Hey Chris, here's a fun fact that'll send a chill running up your leg: They aren't concerned over whether communism or socialism is right or wrong, but only with the very pragmatic concern for 'what will work' to put the Left back in power. And that is an example of economic thinking - using power to manipulate circumstances for the greater good. If that leads to having you lined up and shot in Central Park, so be it. Just ask a Bernie 'bro.

To repeat, it's not the economics of the moment, or the varying economic policies of Socialists, Democratic Socialists, Welfare Statists, Communists and Capitalists, that is at the root of our problems, but the habitual approach which the Left and Right and Libertarians, take, in reducing the (you should excuse the expression) 'business of living' to issues of economics. Each camp begins from the same foundations in two dimensional efficiency (utility and fairness for 'the greater good'), enabling each to easily use & abuse their own versions of the 'lessons of history', for their own purposes of promoting their spin on fairness, or prosperity, all of which sidesteps the question of what our situation actually is. What is the right thing to do, and why, are brushed aside for what positions will be found to be most useful, effective, etc., and the general public catches the unfortunate consequences of that unwitting conspiracy from all directions.

I wrote a post on how I stumbled myself into an excellent example of this 'seen vs. unseen' last weekend, when I criticized a popular conservative meme which purports to analyze the math of Bernie's purported plans. I said that calling Bernie out on whether or not his math was right, was not only pointless, but implied that he was interested in anything more than expanding the size of govt, while reducing everyone's individual right & power to resist govt's growth & power over us all. He's not. And he's said so. That is what Socialism means in practice, and cannot mean otherwise. The math matters on programs that are appropriate to consider - the appropriateness of the plan to our constitutional system of laws is what should be considered before ever considering the math, but that remains unseen to our eyes today. All we see, all we ask, is how 'workable' it is.

Our society has lost its depth perception, we see facts without meaning, policies that purport to be effective without considering whether they should ever be considered, let alone tried. If someone says they have a plan to commit the perfect murder, you shouldn't hear them out, and if they did, it's not their math that you should criticize. RIGHT? It's not an error in the math of his 'Medicare for all' plan, that's the 'deal breaker', but the nature of the plans themselves. Socialism IS the elimination of individual rights, along with the hope of of attaining Justice through a Rule of Law that's dedicated to upholding & defending those rights. People today bother to look at the math, only because they've never been taught to look for those fundamental principles - that's what being 'Pragmatic' means, BTW, 'forget about what's right & true, just do what seems to work' - and so you read along and 'do the math'. And isn't that about where we're at? The Left looks at adding up the numbers, the Right looks at whether criticism is accurate, and no one understands how the floor is collapsing out from beneath us.

In the last century we've learned to close one eye to something that is so important to our cultural depth perception, which is something that I'll get into in the next post, but in the meantime I wish people would acknowledge that we cannot effectively fight 'them', by standing right where they want us to, which is right upon that crack in our balcony floor, which we're dangerously close to falling through to the hungry rocks below.

There are worse consequences to 2D vision than whether or not the math adds up. Because we miss or avoid pointing out the fundamentals, and allow the pro-regressive Left & Right to press forward to the point of their economic terms, we are seen as caring more about dollar$ & cents, than with what is Right & Wrong. 'Today's youth' tend towards one socialistic scheme or another, because even if they haven't been taught the deeper unseen issues, they grasp that there's a hole beneath the 'economic realities' that they have been taught to accept as being all they need to know. Naturally tending towards idealism, they intuitively grasp that deeper ethical issues are being avoided in all of our pubic 'debates' over minimum wage, the rights protected by the 1st & 2nd Amendments, and healthcare, and as their 'education' has left them uninformed about those deeper unseen fundamentals, they give little other consideration beyond their sympathetic feelings for the fairness of the Haves pitting social circumstances against the Have-nots. As I said in the previous post:
"...The 'youth' aren't flocking to Socialism because you aren't making a good enough economic argument against it, they're flocking to Socialism because you are only making an economic argument against it! By failing to make the moral and philosophical argument for a Free Market, the 'youth' flock to the only ones who are claiming to make a moral and philosophical argument: Bernie Sanders and the Socialists(!)...."
Not having learned to see or look for any substantively deeper issues, they see only what there is to see upon the economic surface which Bernie & Co. effortlessly skate across. What the 'youth' (and one heck of a lot of the 'old' too) see only the mean and powerful taking advantage of the weak and helpless... how can anyone seriously expect to win them over with glorious tales of a rising Gross Domestic Product?!

Thinking about the world and the threats to us primarily through an economic lens, immediately reduces the scope of our thoughtful awareness, and blinds us to recognizing that 'Free Trade!' & Socialism are but the heads & tails of the same economic system, whose currency is the coin of modernity's bankrupt realm.

America was the result of actively thinking three dimensionally, and we engage in restricting ourselves to two dimensional thinking, at our own peril. How we learned to close one eye to that, and why, in the next post.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

The Economy isn't about economics, stupid! - Economic Politics vs Political Economy pt4

Every once in a while I get reminded that I tend to look at things a bit differently than others. I stumbled myself into an excellent example of that this weekend, when I criticized a popular conservative meme which purports to analyze the math of Bernie's purported plans, and people either missed that I was criticizing it, or missed what it was that I was criticizing. The meme, which you've probably seen, makes some questionable claims about what Bernie Sanders' policies are, and then 'does the math' to show how ridiculous they are. What I said about it, was this:

"While I get the shock factor humor of this, here's why doing the math, isn't enough: Exposing the problematic math, treats this as if they simply did a poor job in calculating how to help others. That's Not the case. Bernie & friends are primarily interested in expanding the size of govt, while reducing everyone's individual right & power to resist govt's growth & power over us all..."
I wasn't commenting on how accurate and true the meme's characterization of either Bernie's math or his plans were, but only on the folly of looking at his plans on those levels. That got me a few replies. One, from a dear friend, said that getting the math right was important and if done would expose fraudulent schemes:
"...the basic math IS the problem. It is the hard fact of why the big picture of a socialist mentality doesn’t work in the first place. Notice I said mentality and not society. The whole picture of supporting a group-think utopia without doing the math first is insane. Math not doing enough? The Math should be the minimum, the least to be done and just because the socialistic group-think imagines that “we will work out the details later” math doesn’t lie...."
Another friend said that
"...people who could perhaps be persuaded to our line of thinking aren't going to be as willing to engage us in the big details if we can't even get the small stuff right.."
And a slew of other comments from others sharing my post, were effectively saying that my saying that Bernie is opposed to individual rights, was engaging in "fear tactics", and that "Bernie is going to change the word and do away with corruption!", and so on.

Two points.

Firstly, my friend is of course correct about the nature of Math, and that examining their figures will show that the policies cannot in reality work. That of course is true. The problem with that is, that's making the political assumption that those who put forward such policies, actually do care about whether the math will work (spoiler alert: they do not), or that finding such problems in the math, would cause them to abandon their policies (they don't, they wouldn't, and they haven't). Math doesn't lie. That's true. But people do. And people in power long ago found that Math is an excellent tool for furthering their plans, ala 'lies, damn lies, and statistics'.

Secondly, Bernie isn't wrong because the math doesn't work, the math doesn't work because Bernie is wrong - wrong metaphysically, epistemologically, ethically, morally, politically, and wrong because his policies ignore the actual nature and requirements of being a human being and living in society with other human beings. Socialism - in all of its varieties - is anti-reality, and it's anti-human, and the math will always fail... but it's more than their mathematical calculations that makes it wrong, it's socialism's distorted nature of reality that ensures that it can be nothing other than wrong. What I'm trying to point out here, is that the more important point is that if you've gotten all the way up to that step of evaluating their math, it's only because you failed to catch the far more fundamental wrongs in the nature of their proposals, which is where you should have said 'Stop! Explain how and why this is acceptable to even consider', before you ever get to the point of considering their calculations. If you don't see why, try looking at it this way: If someone came up to you and said "Hey, I've come up with how we can get away with the perfect murder! All we have to do, is..." Would you let them explain their plan and do the math with them, or would you stop them right there and remind them that murder is wrong, and being able to get away with it, wouldn't make it right? See what I mean? Giving consideration to their actual proposals, and going so far as to evaluate their math, is implicitly brushing aside every principle and value which a reasonable consideration of that math rests upon.

As to the notion that misrepresenting Bernie's positions makes it difficult to persuade Bernie's fans, please. In response to CBS News Anchor Norah O’Donnell's stunned question asking if he really doesn't know how much his plan is going to cost, he answered:
"You don’t know. Nobody knows. This is impossible to predict”
, and he answered that way because he doesn't give a damn about the math, or even about the details of his own 'plans'; the only use that either the math or his position papers have for him, is to occupy people who're inattentive enough to think that they're only in an argument over economics, so he can implement the laws which the economy operates within.

I'm not misidentifying or misrepresenting Bernie's positions, I'm one of the few who are actually identifying them.

There is no need for me to pretend to read Bernie's mind (or Warren's, Buttigieg's or any of the others), or any of his intentions. Socialism IS the elimination of individual rights, along with the idea of attaining Justice through a Rule of Law that's dedicated to upholding & defending those rights. It doesn't require any great intelligence to grasp this, it only requires a willingness and habit of focusing on the fundamentals, as Frederic Bastiat did with his brief 95 page book "The Law", in which he brilliantly demolished every socialistic, communist & statist argument that any of that mindset have ever proposed from his time to ours.

But. The more relevant point here, is that while Bastiat did dismantle their economic fallacies, he didn't do so simply on an economic basis. Bastiat wasn't an Economist ('Economics' didn't really exist as a term until Progressives adopted it in the late 19th century, which I noted early on in the first of these posts). Bastiat, and Adam Smith, and Jean Baptiste Say, were students and theorists of Political Economy - the understanding that an economy was what resulted from a society's political ideas & laws, rather than it being a cause of them. The reason why we don't think that way today, is that somewhere along the way we've learned to close one eye to something that is so important to our cultural depth perception, that when we now find ourselves bumping into the walls of reality, we not only blame the walls, but attempt to redesign the walls, as if that would stop us from being 'bumped into' by them. I'll leave the details of that for the next posts, but in the meantime I wish people would just notice that we cannot effectively fight 'them', by playing by their rules, and on their grounds.

This is what drove me up the wall during the healthcare battles, the Left would say "30% of Americans are not covered by healthcare, what about them! Are they just out of luck?! Would you leave them to die on the sidewalk?!", and those on the right would dive right into 'doing the math', and so implicitly accept the premise that bureaucrats and legislators should have the power to tell patients, doctors and hospitals how healthcare should be handled, instead of leaving it up to patients, doctors and hospitals. By engaging and 'doing the math', they abandoned the principle that Govt had no right or power to be in a position where any such math would need to be done. Almost never did I hear anyone on 'The Right' say
"You have no rightful power to tell patients, doctors and hospitals how to handle their healthcare. If you really are concerned about people's care, then the last thing that's going to be helpful to a patient, doctor or hospital, is having to consult reams of rules and regulations that tell them what they can and cannot do! Leave those decisions to those patients, doctors and hospitals who are and should be involved. "
Because so few on 'The Right' ever said that, because they discarded that principle and jumped right into 'doing the math', we all now having to consider unworkable plans being proposed with unworkable math, by bureaucrats and legislators who're dictating our 'care'. If we could go ahead and not make the same mistake we made with healthcare, while considering a socialist/communist's plans for running the entire nation, that'd be great.

One other thing: While you may think that you're exposing their errors by doing the math, they know something that you don't know, that by discussing the matter with them, they have 'a live one' on the hook, and they are reeling you in. It's a fundamental rule of Sales: If the prospect is engaging with you and saying 'no' to buying, then they are a 'live prospect' and a likely sale, and more and more likely with every additional moment they spend saying 'no'. When a telemarketer calls you on the phone, and you say you're not interested, they keep talking because you're still on the phone, and even though you are saying "No, not today thanks", they know that you're likely a potential sale because you're still on the phone saying "No, not today thanks".

If you don't want to be sold, hang up the damn phone.

Similarly, stop letting them tell you "It's the economy, stupid!". That is nothing more than a means of eliminating governments respect for your individual rights & powers, from the conversation! The Economy isn't about economics, economics is what results from how well, or poorly, your individual rights and property are upheld and defended under a Rule of Law dedicated to that purpose, under a government whose powers are limited to that purpose.

The health of our society and the strength of our economy, is not about 'economics', and believing it is, is why we are losing both. Karl Marx has very nearly defeated The West in general, and America in particular, by getting nearly everyone to accept his two points:
  1. To characterize our society through the lens of his preferred term, 'Capitalism', instead of as a Free Market, or Adam Smith's term, Natural Liberty.
  2. To habitually look at the world through his 'Economic Interpretation of History'.
He succeeded on both counts, and every battle we engage in on those terms, is a predetermined loss. Thinking about our society and your own life, through an 'Economic Interpretation of History', was Karl Marx's central innovation (that, and " the theory of the Communists may be summed up in the single sentence: Abolition of private property."), if you care about your own life and liberty, why in the name of God would you follow the ideas of a man who's ideas are responsible for the miserable deaths of over 100 million people?!

The 'youth' aren't flocking to Socialism because you aren't making a good enough economic argument against it, they're flocking to Socialism because you are only making an economic argument against it! By failing to make the moral and philosophical argument for a Free Market, the 'youth' flock to the only ones who are claiming to make a moral and philosophical argument: Bernie Sanders and the Socialists(!).

Wake up already!

Read Bastiat's book, "The Law", it's short and sweet and utterly destroys every so called economic argument made by socialists and communists (and a good deal of conservatives too), not by 'doing the math', but by exposing the corruptions of The Law, and of reasonable thought, which every one of their schemes rest upon (and requires you to go along with).

As Bastiat showed, Bernie & his bros, can easily be defeated on those grounds which precede the pretensions of today's 'economists'. His ideas are easily grasped, understood, and applied, and anyone who can count to ten twice in a row, can learn from and use Bastiat's ideas. But not if you've already accepted Marx's ploy of an economic interpretation of history. Once you've accepted economics as the starting line for your position, you'll never cross the finish line, you've lost already.

I hear conservatives and libertarians saying over and over again, that 'the ends never justify the means' (which is true), and yet they routinely do just that! How? Natural Liberty, a Free Market, Liberty itself, came about and are derived from fundamental concepts and principles which they cannot exist without. Attempting to begin your arguments on an economic basis, without reference to those fundamental requirements, and doing so because it's easier to just 'ignore that stuff', is not only attempting to have what can't be had, you are doing so because your supposed ends of 'liberty', justify your means of getting it on the cheap. I don't need to 'do the math' to know that that won't work.

Economics is a result, not a cause. But I'm sure that Marx appreciates your cooperation.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

What the Democrats didn't debate: Bloomberg's opinion of Farmers

Watching the Democrat debate last night, was like watching Vanilla, Rocky Road, Mint Chip & Caramel Swirl, claiming that their differing flavors made them into something other than ice cream. They don't. But it was interesting to me that out of all of Mike Bloomberg's many despicable (and revealing) comments they chose to attack him on and argue over, none of them brought up the outrageous comment of his that most recently came to light over the last week, in saying that farmers & blue collar workers don't have enough grey-matter to follow the dots & do the calculations that Tech Workers do. Perhaps, as with battling over flavors to avoid noticing that they're all just ice cream, they didn't argue over that point because that's one thing that they're all agreed upon? If that's so, and I'm pretty sure it is, then looking closer at what they didn't argue about, might be more worthwhile than the worthless arguments they mostly wasted our time with making.

In case you missed it, what came out over the last few days, was a talk that Bloomberg gave a couple years ago, where he'd spoken about how 'the economy' has evolved over time, and how it will soon leave farmers & manual workers behind:
“...The agrarian society lasted 3,000 years and we could teach processes. I could teach anybody, even people in this room, no offense intended, to be a farmer, It’s a process. You dig a hole, you put a seed in, you put dirt on top, add water, up comes the corn. You could learn that. Then we had 300 years of the industrial society. You put the piece of metal on the lathe, you turn the crank in the direction of the arrow and you can have a job. And we created a lot of jobs. At one point 98% of the world, worked in agriculture, today it's 2% in the United States. Now comes the information economy and the information economy is fundamentally different because it's built around replacing people with technology and the skill sets that you have to learn are how to think and analyze, and that is a whole degree level different. You have to have a different skill set, you have to have a lot more gray matter. It's not clear the teachers can teach or the students can learn, and so the challenge of society of finding jobs for these people, who we can take care of giving them a roof over their head and a meal in their stomach and a cell phone and a car and that sort of thing. But the thing that is the most important, that will stop them from setting up a guillotine someday, is the dignity of a job...."(WTH?)
While I get the angry reactions from people to Bloomberg's comments, most of the responses that I've seen, seem to either have missed the point, or are actually making the very same point that Bloomberg made, except that they're putting the farmers on the 'smarter' side of the equation, as along the lines of:
"Oh yeah! Wow you're soOo wrong! Farmers don't follow just simple dots, they follow complicated dots! And lots more dots than billionaires & tech people do!"
Now just think about that for a moment... what sort of questions were people asking themselves, to lead them to those replies? And aren't those replies essentially saying that they are better people than Bloomberg & his ideal Techies, because Farmers really do make oodles of sooper-dee-duper calculations - isn't that agreeing with the 'principle' of what Bloomberg was saying? That connecting and calculating the dots is the measure of man's mind & value? And doesn't that mean that their only disagreement with Bloomberg is over who it is, that are the better people?

I'm not saying so to call anyone right or wrong here, but to draw your attention to the fact that that is what our 'educational system' has been teaching us for over a century now, in a myriad number of ways, such as stressing how important it is to go to college and get a 'good job', so that you don't get 'stuck' in one of those embarrassing non-professional dead end jobs that involve getting your hands dirty. Your ears should be practically ringing with he echoes here.

For myself, I seriously disagree with all of the flavors of these arguments. But most of all, I want to point out that to confuse Education, with training people to perform certain technical steps - basic or advanced - comes from a materialistic, slave oriented perspective, which ultimately has tyrannical ends aimed at the subjugation of man, even when it is done for 'the greater good!'. But... that's another post.

The better responses that many people did make to Bloomberg's foolishness, BTW, were those that tended towards Paul Harvey's "So God Made A Farmer", which is much closer to the mark that we should be aiming at, and it's well worth noting how the points it focuses on, are points which Bloomberg and all elitists (which includes any who think that their pursuits or positions puts them above other people) of all walks of life, entirely miss.

A person's ability to follow steps and perform calculations, is not the measure of a man, but measuring men by that scale does typify the perspective of tyrants.

Those who believe that their ends justify any means they deem necessary to use in achieving them, need a means of measuring the usefulness of people in order to more efficiently fit them into being another brick in their wall; they need cookie cutter systems and standardized tests (and scythes to cut the tall poppies down), to efficiently quantify, weigh and measure their 'human capital' with.

What the tyrannically minded have little need for, are answers to less quantifiable questions, such as are you a person of character? Are you dependable? Capable? Are you moral? Are you concerned with what is real, good & true? Are you both willing to learn new steps and processes, and also willing and able to be counted upon to care for your fellows? Are you kind to pets? Are you considerate to people you don't need to be kind to, and are you respectful towards your other personal & business responsibilities?

Those are the kinds of questions and measures of intelligence that are worth asking from a Human perspective, in taking the measure of a person, and answering them requires the use of slow and inefficient human observation, reasoning & judgement, rather than the speedy and well defined answers that abound from ranks of follow-the-dots calculations. Those who're in pursuit of their ends without much concern for the means used in reaching them, have little use for such questions, because those people who're likely to be identified by them, are poorly suited to being stamped out in cookie-cutter molds, and are typically resistant to being formed into bricks that'll fit snugly into your wall.

Not so coincidentally, those in pursuit of ends which justify their means, are interested in teaching people to forget about asking larger questions such as those, preferring instead that they habituate themselves to asking an entirely different kind of questions. Questions that are easily measured & quantified and fit into useful positions, such as those that closely resemble most of the responses that Bloomberg received to his statement. It might be worthwhile to ask yourself, what sorts of questions have worked their way into your own thinking? I understand that you might resent being characterized in that way, I sure do, but how aware are you that our public education system was explicitly designed to, as the man who'd latter become the 28th President of the United States, Woodrow Wilson, once explained to a meeting of the Federation of High School teachers, that:
"...We want one class of persons to have a liberal education and we want another class of persons, a very much larger class of necessity in every society, to forgo the privilege of a liberal education and fit themselves to perform specific difficult manual tasks..."
Sure, you probably don't often find yourself consciously reducing your fellow man to the status of tools and 'human capital'... not outright at any rate, but you've certainly been taught to think of the world in that way. And while you may be sure that such thoughts haven't found their way into your thinking... have you checked? Do you... for instance... want your kids to get a 'good education' in order to get a 'good job'? Do you think of getting a good education, and schools teaching classes that'll be 'good for the economy', as being the same thing? Do you want to see more STEM classes in school? Do you vote for politicians who promise to 'fix' members of our society? To regulate (mandate) how people live their lives and do their jobs? No...? Not in healthcare? Not in prescription drugs? Not in Education? ... Insurance? ...Entertainment? ...Big Tech? ...Wall Street?

If not, congratulations, well done. I still find hints of such things popping up in the back of my mind now & then... they don't often get a step further than that, but they are there, and I know a great number of folks on 'The Right' who habitually take more than a few steps down one of those roads. Often. That's not something to deny, but to be very much aware of, because it's less than a small step from there, to Bloomberg & the Emperors of Ice Cream's way of seeing your fellow man as 'human capital'. It takes only a slight turn of mind, from reasoning upon history, to 'critical thinking' about STEM subjects for instance (oh, do you often call for more 'Critical Thinking' in our schools? Have you ever wondered when and where (and Why?) that term came from (Hint: 'Critical Thinking' originated in the 1940's... do you think that our Founding Fathers suffered from a lack of those 'critical thinking skills'?)? You really should think some about that, as monsters do lurk in the shadows, ya know), to begin evaluating people by their economic function (job), and by their wealth and status (no doubt you don't look down on poor people, but... do you ever look down on 'the rich'?).

Sure, you're unlikely to begin advising the terminating of elderly people's lives based upon an expected ROI from their medical procedures, or even to outright change the rules you originally agreed to play by, like Mike 'lets run for three-terms anyway' Bloomberg, did. But, as with the differences between being a Democrat, a Democratic Socialist, and a Communist... those are only differences in degree, not in kind.

Ladies and Gentlemen, we do have problems in the United States of America. But how detailed the processes of your job are, or how much 'grey matter' some fool thinks you have, or worse, actually tested & calculated you to have, isn't our real problem. Our problems have much more to do with not realizing that that type of thinking, which we've been taught for over a century to thoughtlessly think of and accept as being normal, is our real problem.

Again, did you respond to Bloomberg's put-down of farmers & laborers for not having enough grey matter skills, by saying they have more such skills than he does? I'll admit it, that was my first thought. But did you have any second thoughts, about your first thought? Don't let the truth fall prey to your first answers (which is another thing that automated testing teaches you to do without thinking), keep on questioning the answers you come up with.
Dr. Jordan Peterson has rightly noted that there's zero correlation between being smart, and being wise. You may be an extremely smart person, but if your thoughts aren't rooted in what is real and true, then your cleverness won't take you up to being intelligent. Not even if you're one of those who're able to call out other people's logical fallacies at the drop of a meme, you can't claim to be logical, as you've broken Aristotle's 1st rule of Logic (your premises must be true, before you can attempt to use them logically), and wisdom will remain beyond your reach. The calculations that follow upon such clever thoughts cease to be intelligent. They may be impressive, they may even make you appear to be stunningly smart, dazzling even, but such thoughts cease to be Intelligent, from the outset.

To take matters a step further, if you value the attention getting skills of smartness, over the more subtle and humble plodding of wisdom, not only are you part of the problem, but you're making yourself into another brick in the wall. And remember, however comfortable you may or may not be with that, just keep in mind that the Democrat candidates for President of the United States, don't think it's worth debating.