People Are Not Rational

The main complaint about the field of economics, at least libertarian economics, is that it starts with assumptions not based in reality. The number of references to “rational behavior” or “rational actors” indicates the people into these subjects are powered by wishful thinking, rather than clear-eyed realism. Humans, alone or in groups, are not rational. People regularly act irrationally, even when the rational option is obvious. A good example is right here in this story on the supplement scams:

But surely consumers play some role in the rise of the vitamin industrial complex. Research about the ineffectiveness of vitamins, or worse, has been around since the 1940s, after all. “People over time and particularly people in the United States have been led to believe that vitamin and mineral supplements will make them healthier, and they’re looking for a magic pill,” Dr. Cynthia Mulrow, another of the Annals of Internal Medicine editorialists, tells Reuters.

And the “magic pill” habit may be hard to break, scathing editorial or no. For what it’s worth, here’s the pushback from the supplement trade group the Council for Responsible Nutrition:

The Annals of Internal Medicine editorial “demonstrates a close-minded, one-sided approach that attempts to dismiss even the proven benefits of vitamins and minerals,” says the group’s CEO, Steve Mister. “It’s a shame for consumers that the authors refuse to recognize the real-life need for vitamin and mineral supplementation, living in a fairy-tale world that makes the inaccurate assumption that we’re all eating healthy diets and getting everything we need from food alone.”

All those rational actors economists talk about will look at the mountain of studies on one hand and a collection of con-men on the other and believe the con-men, even though they sort of know they are being swindled. Facts and evidence will play no role. They want to believe. They will listen to goofy celebrities and TV airheads about whole food vitamins and be convinced this stuff is beneficial. The fact that these people are wholly unqualified to talk about any of this stuff will count for nothing.

It’s why much of libertarian economics is absurd. In the very general sense, sure, markets are rational in that they display preferences of the participants. But, there are few unadulterated markets and therefore few truly rational markets. That implicit irrationality is known by the participant, which alters their behavior. People are not moist robots, acting on a simply set of binary instructions. We may be controlled by our code, but it is vastly more complex that the simplified models that come for modern economics.

Beta Male Nation

Regardless of how you feel about Obama’s politics, you have to admit that the people behind him are very good at selling their man to the public. Their get out the vote efforts have run circles around the GOP. They created a voting block out of single women. The “Julia” campaign may have seemed creepy to a lot of normal people, but it worked on the target audience. The young gals changed two elections based on their belief that the GOP wants to pack their uterus with bibles and sew up their vaginas.

This add appears to be targeting homosexual males.

Lots of people on the Right are howling with laughter at this add, but it would be wise to consider the possibility that it is a good marketing campaign. After all, the people behind it have put a man in the White House based on their ability to target the aspirations of Progressive white women and black church ladies. In 2004, the idea of a mixed race guy with a Muslim name becoming was as laughable as this advertisement.

This fruit looks a lot like the actor from Big Bang Theory. That is a very popular TV sit-com featuring nerdish beta males, replaying the Friends show of the 1990’s. It’s popular for a reason. Look around at the stars popular with youth and you will not find a lot of tough guys facing off against the bad guys. It is almost exclusively sexually ambiguous males and masculinized females. Body spray makes millions for chemical companies because millions of young American males want to smell like a woman.

Only Racists Hate Obama

The old rule in the newspaper business is the the important points of a story should be put in the first graph or two of the story. Those first paragraphs set the tone for the story and the following paragraphs and maybe pictures will provide the detail. Those first paragraphs are the hook to land the reader, with the promise of more juicy details. the lede is what sells the story and what has always sold newspapers.  This story is a good example.

PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. — A village police officer has been suspended and could be fired after apparently posting a racist, obscenity-laced rant about President Obama on his Facebook page.

“The fact that he (Obama) is still alive bewilders me,” Officer Peter Burns allegedly wrote in the post, which The Journal News obtained Thursday. “Go die in a shallow grave you Muslim commie …”

In the story, this is the only quoted passage. There’s nothing racist in the quoted item. The cop obviously hates Obama and thinks he is a Muslim and a communist. Obama was a Muslim and may still be a Muslim. He has called himself a Muslim so  we should take his word for it. He is probably a communist, but a lesser sort like you see on the university campus. The communist stuff is popular in the academy. Obama’s sponsors in politics are all self-professed Marxists, so assuming Obama is a communist is not unreasonable.

The article says he used a racial slur, but provides no evidence. It is just assumed that not liking Obama, if you are white, means you are a racist. The cop supposedly used the handle “Coon Trapper” so that could be proof he is a bigot. “Coon” is an old fashioned word for blacks, but one that fell out of use fifty years ago or more. Maybe in New York it is still in use, but that seems unlikely.  All we can know is he detests Obama, like the majority of Americans according to recent polling.

Leaving the issue of his handle undecided, the real crime he has committed here is not liking Obama. We know that because the innocuous portion of his rant is what is being used as proof of his racism. If his Facebook name had been “Fluffy Sunshine Bunny” he would still be guilty of racism. The reason is he is white and he hates Obama. In other words, being a racist is no longer having a general animus to people because of their race, but it is a white person not holding the preferred political positions.

It’s not hard to see there this goes. Disconnecting the sin of racism from the definition of racism means that anyone holding the wrong opinions will be called a racists. It’s a way to weaponize a logical fallacy. If all racists hate Obama, then everyone who hates Obama is a racist. This is somewhat plausible in the case of Obama because he is black, but it is not hard to see how this expands to everything the Left fears. Everyone who opposes the Left is a racist and racism is the worst thing possible, so killing fields.

Healthy Living

When in the office, I try to keep up with the world by listening to the talk radio guys that make their audio available on-line. There’s a limit to how much Rush Limbaugh type of commentary I can take, so I switch it up and listen to some sports or maybe a local chat show. I’m working, so it’s more background noise than anything else, but it give me some idea of what my fellow citizens are interested in at the moment. That way I can do small talk with them without sounding like a visitor from another planet.

An ad that seems to turn up all over is for some sort of weight loss drug. It may be a dietary supplement, I don’t know as I never pay attention until the end. The pitch at the end of the ad is a warning about the possibility some fat people will lose weight too quickly, so they should use caution while using the drug. It’s an obvious lie, but they are playing on people’s desperation. It is a spin on the four hour erect claims from Cialus. The idea is to get the sucker thinking the worse possible result is their dreams come true.

It is a terrible thing to do, but it is a staple of the supplement business.  The “male enhancement” ads always warn about users suddenly having super models flocking to them for a little bit of that raging manhood they will get from the drug. At least the Cialus guys can claim to be defending themselves against a possible side effect. The weight loss drug is just a scam with exactly zero science behind it. In fact, all of them are scams, as most are just common herbs or maybe even nothing at all. Just filler.

I’ve been into health and fitness, off and on, for over 30 years and I have seen all sorts of crazy fads. The one that has always baffled me is supplements. The best source of vital nutrients is food. A properly constructed diet provides all of the vitamins and minerals a human requires. Even athletes can get everything from food. The use of steroids and growth hormone changes some of the math, but food remains the only supplement you really need. Eat a low-carb diet with plenty of green vegetables and you’re good.

According a massive new study, there’s no evidence to even make a weak correlation between supplements and good health. Even taking a multivitamin is a waste of effort, because most Americans have too much of everything in their diet. Most of those vitamins and minerals in the pill will be broken down in your stomach and passed throughout as waster product. There’s some evidence that vitamin-D is of some help to white people in the winter, but you can get that from fruit and vegetables too.

This will have no impact on the sale and use of these magic potions. People want to believe in miracle drugs. The core of every confidence game is the willingness of the sucker to think he is special. That’s always at the heart of these marketing plans for pills, magic diets or exercise fads. That’s the diet pill pitch. Most people, they claim, will lose weight, but you could be special. You could be the exception, who loses tons of weight. It is the same element that allowed Victor Lustig to sell the Eiffel Tower for scrap.

Food cults are nothing new and that is what the supplement business is when you examine it. The Greeks and Romans were fond of food cults. Pythagoras was a vegan, for example. Sacrificing animals and food offerings to the gods are part of it. Five thousand years ago, the cult would sacrifice a bull and leave some food at a shrine. This was followed by a feast. Today the cult arrives as Whole Foods to sacrifice their wallet for organic bananas and a variety of supplements, almost always “all natural.”

The truth is, humans are omnivores. Our bodies evolved over a very long time eating meat, fish and wild greens. That’s what we’re good at digesting. If you want to maintain a healthy diet, cut out the carbs and focus on meat, fish and eggs. Nuts and cheese add variety and fresh produce, when in season, as a source of carbs when you’re using that body as it was designed. That’s the other piece of the health puzzle. Exercise. We are made for lifting heavy things and short bursts of activity.

It’s 9 Thermidor Year II

For those of you not up on your revolutionary history, that is the date of the Thermidorian Reaction. In radical circles, it has a different meaning. It is the inflection point in radical politics where the movement veers off into madness. The otherwise sensible people who were pushing the movement along begin to have doubts and question the people they have been following. The revolution, at this point, begins to eat itself, as radicals seek out doubters and the sober minded react to the craziness of the radicals.

For more than 200 years radicals have been replaying the French Revolution hoping for a different result. In every case, the radicals never see that they are following the same path as those who came before them. It suggest there is something about radicalism, maybe a biological quality to the radicals themselves, that results in this pattern. For some reason, they can never see that they are following the same story arc as prior radical movements, even when they are led by people who are students of prior radical movements.

Anyway, I first heard it is used when reading about the Berkeley Citizens Action struggles in the 1980’s. The New Left settled into the city and went about building a a radical organization. They used a document called The City’s Wealth to map out a strategy to gain control of Berkeley, which they eventually did in the 1980’s. That’s when Berkeley got into declaring itself a nuclear free zone and campaigning for various communist causes in South America. It is also when the city’s schools and quality of life began to collapse.

The radicals were so concerned about polishing their radical credentials and debating their radical theories with one another, they failed to figure out how to run a practical organization. They also started succumbed to the normal human temptations, like getting their money mixed up with the city’s money. Eventually the city’s less crazy liberal population revolted and started to throw out the radicals. Left-wing observers on the West coast called it America’s Thermidorian Reaction.

That may be what’s happening with the Affordable Care Act. It was the crowning achievement of the Left’s capturing of the national government in 2008. Five years on it is an unfolding disaster that is threatening the revolution. On the one hand, the old school types like Bernie Sanders are unhappy about the bill not going far enough. They were never happy about this, but hoped it was a first step. The liberals who are more concerned with practical politics are in a full blown panic as their poll numbers collapse.

On the other hand, this may signal the collapse of the more pragmatic wing of the Left, the wing led by people like the Clintons. They may be crooks, but they come out of the moderate strain of 60’s radicalism, that thought this government could be re-purposed to Progressive ends. The other wing, the anti-white wing, is not all that interested in reforming the system. They wish to sack it and then attack their white oppressors. They may see this failure as the failure of pragmatism and then demand more radical action.


There’s an interesting thread on Marginal Revolution about software patents. In recent years “patent trolls” have become a parasitic industry all to themselves. Companies are created to acquire patents from the holders so they can then shake down whoever may be using them in their product. The patent troll buys a patent and then seeks out who may be using something like it. The user may not even know they are using a technology that is patented by another. Their choice is fight in court or pay up. It’s a form of green mail.

This form of business goes back a long time to when travelers would take over an inn or a private home and you had to pay them to leave. Imagine a town suddenly infested with appear to be gypsies and carny folk. The choice is to get a gang of men to drive them off or pay them to go infest the next town. Of course, just as gypsies target the weak and stupid, the patent trolls tend to pick on little guys lacking the means and sophistication to fight back. This from EFF is a good example.

The idea of a patent or license is to encourage and direct the behavior of the creative into practical things. Instead of offering a prize, the inventor is granted exclusive rights to his invention for a fixed period of time. The world gets the invention and the inventor gets money, maybe lots of money. Otherwise, the smart and creative would have every reason to conceal their cleverness. The farmer with a better plow would not sell his idea, as that would work against his interests. Patents, in theory, increase human knowledge.

The assertion that patents are necessary to spur invention is a new idea. In fact, the idea of patents for intellectual property came under heavy assault in the 19th century.  That was an age of industrial growth and an explosion of innovation. For most of the last 500 years, starting from the advent of the patent system in Venice, patents were limited and temporary. There was an understanding that no idea remains hidden forever. If the first discoverer did not publish it, others would discover it in time and publish it.

What we see today with patent trolls is how the law is easily turned into a weapon by the parasite class. In a prior age, the landlord had to actually own real property, before he could extract rents. Today, you get rich by finding a way to freeload off the system in some way. The better you are at it, the richer you get. Perhaps you get so rich you can buy land and rent it out. The modern economy, thanks to technology and complex financial instruments, is highwaymen shaking down everyone in the normal economy.

The current morass is just another example of why schemes to correct some aspect of the human condition always fail. There’s a fraction of every human society that seeks out ways to live on the labor of others. It is their one skill and their sole focus. Some become salesman or lawyers. Others go into banditry or illicit trades. They are always with us. Try to protect the rights of the honest with patent laws, for example and the parasites will find a way to use that as way to lever money from the honest. Since they are really good at being parasites, they can never be out foxed by new laws. They always win in the end.

The Death Of Pop

As John Derbyshire is fond of saying, pop culture is filth, but it is worth noticing, if you want to get a sense of where the culture is heading. It is a strange artifact of the modern west, modern America particularly, so it’s healthy probably speaks to the health of the American society. Youth culture is not a permanent feature of human society. In fact, it is an oddity. For most of human history, youth culture did not exist.Children graduated into adulthood and that was it. Youth culture is a creation of the American post-war Left.

To be accurate, what we think of as pop culture started in earnest in the 20’s and 30’s in big cities. People with disposable income could go to clubs and hear jazz music and carry on in ways that were otherwise prohibited. That was not really youth culture as we think of it today. It was an extension of the existing cosmopolitan leisure activity, brought down to a middlebrow level. Instead of you people attending formal dances, they went to clubs and listened to black music, smoked jazz cigarettes and talk about communism,

After the Second World War, an authentic youth culture was born. The proliferation of media, TV, radio and movies, quickly centered on young people. The reason is young people are dumb and have bad tastes. It’s a lot easier to sell them pop culture than to sell it to an older person with more complex tastes. Radicals also saw it as a way to recruit the young in their efforts to subvert public order. It’s not an accident that the long cultural revolution in America started with a revolution in pop culture.

There was also money to be made selling stupid young people bad music and silly fads that changed every year. Even though most was crap, some was quite good. By the late 60’s sixties and early 70’s, a lot of pop music was very good. Listen to Led Zeppelin, for example, and you hear very accomplished musicians tapping into old traditions in western music. It’s not Beethoven of Brahms, but within that genre, many of the best performers were very talented musicians. In a better age, they would have been put to better use.

Today, pop culture is noticeably devoid of talent. The automation and technology have, as is always the case, removed the art and replaced it with decoration. In the last two decades we have seen a stream of female pop singers following a standard formula, where they gain great success, but then fade and are replaced by an updated version, doing the same act. Madonna was the first to figure out how to be the raunchy power-pop diva and after here has been a stream of imitators doing the same act.

Heterosexual male singers have just about disappeared from pop music, instead turning up in country. The beta males like Justin Beiber are designed to appeal as much to the bath house culture as teens. Just as the proliferation of gay casting directors has turned the leading man into a gay icon, the proliferation of homosexuals in the music business has turned the male singer into a twink. Gays like their men to look like steroidal freaks or like teenage boys. That’s a truth of life that is forbidden, but still true.

The trouble with the factory formula is it eventually breaks down. Lady Gaga seems to be headed to the dustbin as her latest record is a flop. Her music was never anything special, but her marketing was better than most. Her people fused David Bowie and Paris Hilton with a dash of Marilyn Manson. Wisely, they kept it PG-13 so they could target young teenage girls, but also rope in the dorky older girls. It was good timing as the victim culture was growing, particularly among young females. It was good timing.

The transcendent theme to all of pop music these days, even country, is the stunning lack of real talent. Most of the singers need electronic enhancement. Few can play more than a few notes on an instrument. None are writing music. Instead there’s a music factory cranking out their tunes and a whole marketing team to build the back story and narrative of the performer. The lack of authenticity is near universal, which is ironic, as the genesis of youth culture was a quest for authenticity that transcended bourgeois life.

The Problem With Health Care

Friday I went to the doctor for an evaluation. The reason for this is the dentist saw a tiny little bump on my tongue that she said was probably nothing. Since I have insurance, she said I should get it checked out by a specialist. She gave me a referral to someone she knows. With some worry, I made the appointment. Unless I have the slowest growing tumor in history, it is a nothing issue, but you never know and the hygienist is right about having it checked out to make sure. Who knows? This could be my last post here.

I made the appointment and was told to show up 30 minutes early to do paperwork. I was given a clipboard and five forms. Half of it was the basic data a doctor would need in order to get a general history of the patient and get paid for services. The rest was data to defend him against future lawsuits. Liberals have argued for years that litigation is a tiny part of health costs, but they have a conflict of interest as most are lawyers abusing the court system. The rial lawyer lobby is very powerful in America.

Even objective studies cannot account for the millions of hours wasted filling out forms forced on us by the plaintiff’s bar.  A partner in a law firm filling out forms at a doctor’s office is a $1000 of waste. Multiply that over tens of millions of people and you have billions squandered in the morass of paperwork alone. That’s before you consider how many times you fill out the same form. Every visit to the doctor seems to require a new form, with the same data, but in a slightly different order with a new date.

I finish the forms and the whatever you call the people at the front desk took a copy of my insurance cards and driver’s license. Again, the scan of the license is about money. If they have to chase me, they now have my photo ID. This was something truck hijackers would do in the 50’s and 60’s. They would take the truck driver’s license and tell him to claim it was two black guys or two Mexicans. Since they had his license, he was under obvious pressure to cooperate. It’s an interesting comparison.

Then I wait and wait and wait. I had 12:30 appointment but did not get to see the doctor until 1:00. He was with me for 132 seconds. I know because I timed the great event. I then spent fifteen minutes checking out and paying my bill. That part was an issue because I learned they did not take insurance, but would submit the claim to my carrier for reimbursement. I tried to use my HSA VISA card, but that was declined for some reason. I then used my regular credit card to pay the $150 for the 132 second consultation.

The consultation resulted in another appointment. He will remove the bump and send it out for examination. He says it is unlikely to be anything but I will have peace of mind knowing for sure. He will also have $650 for the service. If I want my HSA to cover it, I will have to spend hours working that process. There’s a cost there as my time is worth something to me. I could pay out of pocket, but I have insurance for this stuff. They ain’t giving me a discount for not using it. It is another hassle for a service that is probably unneeded.

This is the problem with health care in a nutshell. It is something we all need, so it has attracted a special class of highwaymen. They stand between you and the product or service you need, demanding a toll. Unlike a stickup man, they force you to fill out forms and wait in line to be robbed. This is also why American health care will collapse before it is reformed. Those highwaymen have powerful lobbies to prevent laws curtailing their activities. We’ll just have to wait until we’re all bled dry, before there is reform.

Bad Science

Alex Tabarrok has a piece in Slate arguing that more guns in a society results in more suicides, at least in some places under certain conditions. For reasons no one can explain, this effect is not observed in East Asian counties or among Asians anywhere in the world. A similar phenomenon has been observed about gun ownership and crime, where increased access to guns only increases black crime, while increased gun ownership among whites seems to reduce crime. Another mystery.

In fairness to the writer, the math is not defective and the observation is sound. A gun is a much more effective tool for killing yourself than a knife or a brick. Give the ways you can use a gun to kill yourself, the odds of surviving are very small. Other forms of suicide, like pills and the idling car in the garage routine are slower and increase the chance of discovery and therefore survival. They concede that point in the Slate article.

Are the people not killing themselves with guns simply committing suicide by other means? Some are—but not all. While reduced household gun ownership did lead to more suicides by other means, suicides went down overall. That’s because contrary to the “folk wisdom” that people who want to commit suicide will always find a way to get the job done, suicides are not inevitable. Suicides are often impulsive decisions, and guns require less forethought than other means of suicide—and they’re also deadlier.

Suicides are often impulsive decisions. If we assume the well thought out suicides are a constant and just focus on the impulsive ones, it is easy to see how this number would correlate to the availability of effective killing tools. If every household had strong poison that tasted like candy, we would see the same effect. That’s hardly a surprise. The availability of guns certainly results in more accidental shootings and impulsive shootings that stem from disputes. Take away all the knives and we get fewer knife accidents.

Of course, if we were talking about poison or knives, Slate would not bother publishing it and Tabarrok would not bother writing about it. The Left hates gun ownership, as it is a proxy for white males. Therefore, there is no money to be made in studying the use of guns in preventing crime. There’s money to be made peddling a study of the obvious, as long as it confirms some shibboleth of the Left. That’s what you see here.

The folks at Slate expect their readers to come away with the impression that science says guns cause suicide. It is a revealing bit about how the Left operates. The real focus of their propaganda is not the unbelievers, but in fact their own believers. In fact all of their agitating for gun grabbing is aimed at their own people, in an effort to stoke their enthusiasm for the cause in general. Gun grabbing is just the red cape to get the bulls of the Left excited. You see it in this sort of rhetoric.

Our research had to overcome the fact that no one knows with great precision how many guns there are in America, how many households own a gun, how gun ownership varies demographically and geographically, what types of guns there are, or how guns are used. In part that’s because in 1996, Congress banned the CDC from funding any research to “advocate or promote gun control.” That’s not a ban on gun research, technically, but after Congress extended the wording and expanded the ban to other agencies, it had enough of a chilling effect to reduce CDC funding for gun violence research from $2.5 million per year in the early 1990s to just $100,000 in recent years.

In other words, the gun bogeyman is made scarier because he cannot be quantified, so there could be a gun in your town, ready to cause you to commit suicide. That’s another aspect to the gun grabbing cult. They have imbued guns with magical qualities, which is why they are so willing to believe guns cause blacks to murder one another and suburban whites to kill themselves. The gun is a material projection of white privilege and white supremacy. It’s mere presence acts as if a white man is there to oppress you.

Of course, the reason Congress banned the CDC from gun studies is they were churning out the sort of junk science we see in this Slate article. Alex is a bright guy and he clearly knows his work is going to be used by the gun grabbers. Those gun grabbers will not mention any of the caveats. They will simply scream, “See? See? Science says guns cause more suicides!” Tabarrok knows this, yet he has been pimping this paper and the supporting research for a month. Libertarianism is just another grift.

Again, the issue here is not methodology. It is the misappropriation of authority, in this case social science, to promote falsehoods. If you make poison for a living you have a responsibility to take precautions. That means not selling it to children or people you suspect are evil. If you do social science research, you have an obligation to guard against your work being used for nefarious ends. Tabarrok is willingly adding the authority of his name to something he has to know is misleading, at best.

The GOP’s Demographic Problem

John Derbyshire’s latest racist, right-wing extremist extremism is up at VDARE. I’m a big fan of John’s work, even though I think the people at VDare are a bit weird. Not the bad sort of weird, more like the eccentric sort of weird. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but there’s an oddness about some of them. Perhaps it is the effects of working with taboo material for so long, like radiation sickness. But, it takes all kinds and my tastes are not conventional. Anyway, his column has some interesting facts like this one.

The 1911 census in the newly-founded British dominion of South Africa showed whites as 22 percent in a population of 6 million. By 1980, although their actual numbers had more than tripled, they had dwindled to 16 percent in a population of 28 million, with a birthrate half that of blacks. The demographic writing was on the wall. (Whites are now nine percent in a population of 53 million, just twice the proportion of whites in 1970s Rhodesia, and of course still falling.)

I had that on my mind as I was reading something on National Review. The comment by Scott Wilson is the important bit:

Had the electorate in 2012 looked like the electorate in 1988, Romney likely carries all but a handful of states. Romney carried white voters in every age demographic. The GOP doesn’t have a policy problem, and frankly it really doesn’t have a candidate problem, although I understand the comfort in thinking those things might be true; if they were true, our problems would be fixable, or at least more easily fixable.

No,our problems are demographic in nature, and for that, there really isn’t any short-term cure. Sadly.

That, of course, brings to mind this Steve Sailer post from after the last election. A little math confirms something about modern American politics. Blacks vote democrat 100% of the time. Thinking there’s any chance of changing that is crazy. Right away that gives the democrats 13% of the vote. Hispanics are not as big, but they consistently go 70% for democrats. That’s another 6% of the vote bringing the floor for Democrats to 20% of a national election. In some states, that floor is higher, because of a smaller white vote.

When you look at the white vote, 20% have been calling themselves liberal for as long as anyone reading this has been alive. That’s another 15% going democrat bringing their floor total to 35%. Now, polling consistently puts the percentage of whites calling themselves conservative at 40%. Even though many in that group are libertarian, anarchists and just angry misfits, let’s assume they vote for the GOP. That puts their floor at 30%. That sounds pretty close, but the 35% is much more reliable and dedicated.

It is not hard to see what happens when you increase the Hispanic vote. If we amnesty 20 million Mexicans, that doubles the vote share, bringing the Democrats over the 40% threshold. That means they need just one in three  whites to carry an election. Even now, they need just 40% of that group. Scott Wilson is largely correct. The GOP has a demographic problem more than anything. The share of the vote off-limits is forever off-limits. The share that makes up their base is increasingly unreliable. The crackup we are seeing with Boehner is simply a reflection of slow tearing apart of the GOP.