Thursday, June 04, 2015

New Ruskin
Lecture Notes                                                                                 January 6, 2015

Senator Elizabeth Warren
317 Hart Senate Office Building
The U. S. Senate
Washington, DC  20510

Plinio Designori
New Ruskin College
Dear Doctor Professor United States Senator Elizabeth Warren;

       Twenty Five years ago I found that I agreed with Mishima Yukio: “I have believed that knowing without acting is not sufficiently knowing and the action itself does not require any effectiveness.”(A)
        At that time I tried to persuade the Senate to adopt laser disk technology for education.  But I disapprove of single issue politics.  The politician must deal with a great many issues and it seems to me that one must deal with all these issues at the same time the politician deals with them while at the same time also presenting the particular proposal one wishes to present.
        Doctor Professor ambassador Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan once commented that he and his fellow sociologists were often criticized for ending up by saying “everything is connected to everything else.”  Then added, “But, damn it, everything is connected to everything else!”

(A)   Mishima Yukio. Ivan Morris, The Nobility of Failure; Tragic Heroes in the History of Japan

And Moynihan was right, for example, if we had spent twenty five years working on using laser disks in education would California’s labor force have fallen from being characterized as “some college” to “some high school”?  Of course the primary reason for this decline is the large influx of Mexican immigrants with poor educations.  But why poor educations?  Everything is connected to everything else. 
            Did I not say, twenty five years ago that the laser disks could have dozens of language tracks? Did I not specifically mention Spanish? Arabic?  Did I not tell President Bush (41) that his fame would spread around the world as the disks were shipped to those in need of an education? The women of Saudi Arabia could have afforded the laser disks. The top third of the people of India could have afforded the disks. That is 400 million people. Mexico, the richest third world nation, could have afforded the disks. Our own high school seniors could have had their freshman year of college on laser disk and completed while at home thus reducing the cost of college by 25%.
How long does it take to educate the world?  Well think about it!  All of human knowledge is passed on to the next generation every year.  It takes one year.  Everything else is simply repetition.

                        “every good school master knows:  repetition, repetition, repetition.” - - - - Daniel Patrick Moynihan

            And we had twenty five years to educate the children of Mexico before they came to California.  Everything is connected to everything else.  And I am disinterested.  Some say to me ‘look you failed.’  Thinking I needed to succeed.  I completed my action.  There was no failure.  True the disks were not produced, the people were not educated, society is worse off than it otherwise would have been, but it has in history ever been thus.  We are governed by fools! (Present company excluded, of course.)  And it makes no difference to me.  I take my audience as I find them fools or not.
{Now I am concerned with global warming and the use of artificial clouds to counter its effects and prevent methane from being released from the artic.  We need to stop global warming before the methane is released as the methane is ten times more powerful than co2.   But that is a different story.[1]}
            I am writing to you to ask you to be more than a Massachusetts Senator;  do you not want to be a United States Senator?  How many times have I heard your colleagues refer to their “constituents”? Senators from Mississippi (population: 2,984,000   vs.  San Diego County Population: 3,211,000 ) believe they represent only the people of Mississippi and not the people of San Diego County even though the latter is more numerous and has no representation.  Or Senators from Ohio (Population: 10 million

[1] C02 is healthy for the vegetation if not for the effect or retention of heat in the atmosphere.  Cooling the planet with higher than normal levels of co2 would allow plant life to surge taking in more co2.  Ocean ph levels would have to be dealt with separately.
vs.  Los Angeles County Population also 10 million) who think they can be just Ohio Senators  representing just 10 million Ohioans and what?  To hell with the people of Los Angeles County?  And what about the other 315 million Americans?  How long do your colleagues think they can go on like this?
            This regime must fall.  Can Delaware (population 750 thousand) have two senators and San Francisco county, (population also 750 thousand), have no representation in the senate?  Is this fair, is this just, can this last? This is the great constitutional question of the twenty first century[1].
            Now one idea I have thought of as a simple fix that can be implemented today, is for Senators to fore swear being state Senators and to become United States Senators. They should run for office from their constituencies, and they should continue to provide services to those constituencies, but they should shift their focus, broaden their perspective, expand their vision to the national stage. 
            Because some Senators are recalcitrant we may have to actually divide up the nation and assign additional districts to Senators.  The Senators from Wyoming (population 576,000),  for example, may be given the constituency of Wyoming, yes, and part of Chicago (population 2,718,000 ) so they can learn about the needs of urban America. The Senators from Utah will have Utah (population 2,855,000), yes, and part of south Los Angeles (population 3 million) also.
            I don’t suppose the people of South Los Angeles will much appreciate the Senators from Utah or that the people of Chicago the Senators of Wyoming no matter how sincere their resolve to be United States Senators. But this is just the point.  No matter the good intentions of the Senators there has to be a reapportionment of the Senate, “one man one vote.”
            You of course recognize the line of argument for the supreme court’s ruling[2] that required the reapportionment of the House which William f. Buckley Jr. said at the time, if truly applied as dictum, would mean the doom of the Senate.  For if the House was skewed  in its representation, representing more heads of cattle than citizens, more acres of crops than city blocks where the people actually live, how much more so is this true of the Senate!?
            “My husband thought that one man could make a difference and that everyone should try.” -- -- -- Jacqueline Kennedy

[1] So said Senator Moynihan.  Remember this for you will need to know this to enter New Ruskin College.
[2] In various reapportionment cases decided by the US Supreme Court in the 1960s, notably Wesberry v. Sanders, Reynolds v. Sims, and Baker v. Carr, the court ruled that districts for the United States House of Representatives, and for the legislative districts of both houses of state legislatures, had to contain roughly equal populations, and required redistricting to meet this standard. The U.S. Senate was not affected by these rulings, as its makeup was explicitly established in the U.S. Constitution. From Wikipedia
I would change this if I could but I think the malapportionment of the Senate will make it further into the twenty first century than I will.  But as everything is connected to everything else perhaps this malapportionment alone accounts for the disuse of laser disk technology by the Senate?  It represents more heads of hogs than school children! Perhaps this malapportionment also explains the 114ths antagonism for Obama Care? What are 10 million formerly uninsured to such a Senate for whom most of its members will conclude that they must be in someone else’s “constituency” as most States do not even have 10 million citizens!  (Only 10 states come close.  Eighty Senators are from states with fewer total citizens than the gross total of uninsured who are now insured under the Affordable Care Act.)
            Congressman Paul Ryan, to take another example,  has it in his mind to drop $137 billion from food stamps as he says to “encourage” the “able bodied” to work.  Surely this is backwards for it is already in the law that as the recipients earn over the specified level they lose their food stamps.  And that “specified level” is I can assure you at a rock bottom low level.  I do not qualify for food stamps as low as my income is. Mr. Ryan wrestles with the fear that the “able bodied” are staying with food stamps and the pitifully low income levels that are specified for them rather than taking on gainful employment at higher incomes.  No seriously, he is preoccupied with this fear. 
            As a fellow conservative I also recognize the unused labor resource and the need to put it to work, but rather than starving it, I would first liberate it from needless state regulation which block it from employment. (The idiotic requirements for licenses and tests etc. for being, for example, florists, dog groomers, hair braiders, etc. (That Mr. Ryan starts his campaign to employee marginal labor by starving it instead of liberating it from the barriers to its entry into the labor market, says more about him than I think he cares to admit.)) 
Then too, having been poor, I can say one large reason for being “marginal labor” is the difficulty of getting access to the jobs sites.  This is because, (and here Dr. Moynihan would want me to point out that this is a worldwide problem including China where an elaborate system of internal passports is administered to control it), cities do not want to be overrun by the “homeless” or the poor or  “marginal labor” seeking cheap housing close to the jobs in the cities. 
            So in the United States exclusionary zoning and building codes have been established to keep people out!  (This system of exclusionary zoning and building codes is no less elaborate than the Chinese system of internal controls to keep its “peasants” from over running its cities.) And unlike the rest of the third world Americans cannot build slum cities around the cities the way they do in the rest of South America, Africa, and Asia (except for China as already noted).  Everything is connected to everything else.  You set the minimum size of an apartment at 1,200 square feet and “marginal Labor” is priced out of the market.  Mr. Ryan can  
starve them all he wants and it will not change the fact that they are stuck in some West Virginia hollow when what they need to do is relocate to, to, . . . some other place.  Why doesn’t Mr. Ryan start by making labor more mobile? Opening up the housing market?  Prohibit Federal funds from going to States or cities that do not allow free enterprise in building low cost buildings of a size and a type that capital requires?  Why doesn’t Mr. Ryan do some of the heavy lifting required to get the “able bodied” “marginal labor” back to work?  
            I have other ideas.  In Santa Barbara, another place with exclusionary zoning and building codes, (while we wait for Mr. Ryan’s efforts to liberate labor and to free developers to build smaller units that low wage workers can afford),  bus drivers, cab drivers, gardeners, cooks and bus boys, all of whom are sleeping in their cars at night can park in parking lots.  This is actually already a program in the City of Santa Barbara. Church parking lots have porta potties and safety lighting and the “marginal labor” can drive in at night.  Showers are set up at other facilities. 
            If Mr. Ryan really feels so strongly that he is willing to drop $137 billion from the neediest Americans, can he not spare at least some time asking the rich and powerful in the cities of America to make room for the “marginal Labor” he is so worried about? Indeed why not start his program by first making room for the workers?  Literally making room for them to sleep, and figuratively make room for them to groom dogs, and set up sales carts, and braid hair or whatever is needed to make employment legally possible? You mustn’t judge all conservatives by Mr. Ryan’s rash stance. Did I say rash? I meant harsh, inhumane, God forsaken stance.  Have I made myself clear?  I do not mean to, as the saying goes, beat a dead horse.
             But why always start by attacking, starving, marginal labor;  why not start by freeing, liberating, labor?
            What is wrong with Mr. Ryan?
            “I wrote to Citi Bank and my letter was not even acknowledged.”
                                                                                    --- --- --- Elizabeth Warren

            Don’t you just hate when that happens?  I know what that’s like.  I recently wrote to the representatives of the coal mining industry about how the use of artificial clouds could control global temperature and they did not even acknowledge my letter.  This first happened to me in the 1980s.  I sent my resume to a job posting and did not receive an acknowledgment letter.  I understood at once that the power structure of labor and management in America had shifted completely and irreversibly.  Not just the doubling of the labor market by admitting women into it completely in the 1960s and 1970s, not just the introduction of labor saving devices like computers in the ‘80s, but the introduction of billions of workers from around the world in China and India etc., which freed up labor here at home and would, because everything is connected to everything else, allow management to ignore the piles of resumes it received and not acknowledge them as it once used to.  Power shifted from labor to management.     
            Of course once Banks like Citi bank would have not dared offend a Senator, not just because of that one Senator, but because they would know that all the other Senators would also have been offended by their crude and rude acts to their fellow Senator.  Now Senators are careless of one another and themselves.  Their power declines.  They decline in importance, and become more irrelevant.
            But I have taken more of your time than I intended.  I always considered your writings essential nonpartisan. I likened them to x-rays:  “Not reading Elizabeth Warren, is the public policy equivalent of not looking at the x-rays,” I had said, back before you had added the triple distinction of U.S. Senator to your double distinctions of Doctor and Professor.
            I don’t think you are like me.  I think your actions actually have to be successful for you to be satisfied with them.  I can tell you this, there is no better way to learn how to run for the Presidency of the United States of America than to actually run for it.  I am sure you will make all kinds of mistakes and footfalls but that is how one learns.  Mrs. Billy Clinton is not invincible.  And if you don’t have any cats for her husband, that pig of a man, to have killed, then you have nothing to worry about.  He must not be allowed to get back into the White House.  Remember Marc Rich.  
President Kennedy said,  “everyone should try,” and besides Castilano needs you to run.  (You may want to consider a general as a vice presidential candidate. (Some have PhDs.))

PS  I, of course, will support Mr. Bush but you will be a worthy opponent.

PS  And I think Iran’s nuclear program should be destroyed and the regime must be overthrown.


Post a Comment

<< Home