The finest scribe writing

Highlights from Bill Simmons latest mailbag:

Q: Which do you think we’ll see first, a female president or a female head coach of an NBA, MLB, NFL or NHL team?

SG: What would I rather see? That’s easy — a female NHL coach. How would she dress? What would her mullet look like? Would she end up looking like a mustache-less Jeff Foxworthy wearing Paula Poundstone’s clothes? At the very least, let’s dress Barry Melrose up in drag for a few games and give this idea a test run.

What will we see? That’s easy — a female president. If you don’t think Hillary Clinton will be running the country in four years, you’re crazy. Ever been stuck in a room full of women when they decide on something ridiculous like “Andie McDowell has been the most beautiful woman in Hollywood for the past 15 years” and they will absolutely stick together until the death when you’re posing counterarguments? Well, I think that’s how the 2008 election is going to unfold — Hillary is going to be Andie McDowell-ed right into the presidency. If she becomes president, that means any woman can become president. It’s too important not to vote for her. So they’ll vote for her.

(And just for the record, I probably will, too — I miss having Bill Clinton around. Imagine having him on tour as the First Man? How much trouble could he get into? It would be just as if he was the president again, only without any responsibility. Think about it — even when he did have responsibility, the whole Lewinsky debacle happened. As the First Man? Anything’s possible.)

Q: Just a clarification about my earlier e-mail on my desire for a special edition DVD of “Night Shift.” In no way should my comments be construed as a rip on either Winkler or Keaton. I can just picture Keaton reading my comments, realizing I go to Kent State like he did, and showing up at my door in the Batman costume to beat me up. On second thought, that would be pretty cool.

SG: I’m beginning to think that none of my readers could pass a drug test. Not a one.

The amazing thing about Simmons is that his uniquely convoluted reasoning leads him to the correct conclusion far more often than not, as long as the Celtics and Red Sox aren’t involved. His point on the electability of the Lizard Queen is more salient than anything I’ve read from any of the professional political consultants and commentators.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with The Sports Guy, he is the author of the mantra which inspired Monday’s rather popular column.

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When turnabout just doesn’t work

Now, I’m no Republican. I probably spend more binary ink on excoriating the sins of the elephantine National Democrat party than I do on the asinine International Socialists, simply because they are less obvious to the casual observer. And in the interest of helping my poor, benighted fellow humans on the left wing of the political spectrum, I’ll provide them with a few points of political consulting advice.

1. They can call you gay. You can’t call them gay. It just doesn’t stick. Because even if a few of their gala coordinators are a little light in the Bass Weejuns, they still don’t have Tinkerbell the Transvestite wearing fishnet stockings and a rainbow ribbon while announcing the votes of the great state of New York at their national convention. Everybody knows who is more likely to march in the Pride parade, and let’s face it, it ain’t Republicans.

2. Nobody with an IQ of more than 35 buys into the Christian Right = the Taliban notion. Remember the Passion? Yeah, that campaign worked out, didn’t it. Look, there’s about 100 million of them out there and if they wanted take over the country and establish a theocracy, they would have done it already. It’s like worrying about an invasion from Mars. Give it a rest.

3. Republicans are not, on average, stupid. Yes, Democrats have the egghead academic crowd, possibly the most annoying one percent of the population, but the Republicans have both the self-made wealthy and the college grads. Simultaneously bitching about how Republicans are a) stupid and b) rich only makes it look as if you hail from the Democrats lower echelon. You know, the stinking masses who didn’t graduate from high school.

4. Being the party of Hollywood isn’t as cool as it sounds. Sure, people like to look at them, but people also like to look at train wrecks. And speaking of train wrecks, do not EVER let them talk. Take their money, have them smile for the cameras and leave it at that.

5. Class warfare works in nineteenth century economies when people are starving in the streets. Look around you, does anyone look like they’re starving? It is also the twenty-first century. It’s time to start thinking about Plan B.

Maybe if I type very slow

Perhaps I can explain this on a point-by-point basis, some of those critics suffering from knee-to-chin disease will be able to grasp that this has nothing to do with my attitude towards women in general, but is a straightforward economic and demographic issue.

1. When the supply of something increases faster than the demand for it, the price goes down. This is called the Law of Supply and Demand and no one has seriously argued about it for more than two hundred years. You might as reasonably argue against the Law of Gravity.

2. The US supply of labor increased by 58.1 million workers from 1970 to 2000, an increase of 70.2 percent or 2.34 percent per year.

3. The percentage of the population active in the US workforce rose from 60.4 percent to 67.2 percent in the 30 years from 1970 to 2000. This percentage increase was due solely to women entering the workforce; had the percentage of women working in 1970 remained the same in 2000, the percentage of the population active in the workforce would have dropped to 58.4 percent. (See Labor Force Change, 1950-2000 by Mitra Toossi).

4. The theoretical demand for labor, in the form of consumption measured by spending*, also grew. GDP increased from 5.03 trillion to 11.75 trillion in 2005 dollars. This 4.43 percent annual economic growth should have created more than enough demand to absorb the 2.34 percent annual increase in labor supply without affecting the price.

5. However, the exporting of jobs abroad, and more importantly, productivity gains thanks to technology have also reduced the demand for domestic labor. Another aspect of globalization, the negative balance of trade may enter in, but net imports only add up to five percent of the GDP and are already accounted for as per the basic formula C+I+G+(X-M). Unfortunately, these productivity gains are impossible to quantify given that the official statistics are literally complete fiction.

6. Therefore, it is logical to conclude that entry of women into the workforce, compounded by the exportation of jobs and increased productivity, that has lowered wages and requires women who do not belong to the financial elite to work whether they want to or not.

Now, obviously there are two ways of addressing this problem, one on the supply side and one on the demand side. The second demand-side aspect is not a possibility, as the technology genie cannot be put back in the bottle.

The reason that the supply side offers a more reasonable solution is that a) it does not require foreign countries to cooperate against their own interest, b) it is in sync with the desire of most women not to work, c) it is in the interest of children to be raised by their mothers, d) it is in the interest of a society that is teetering on the edge of demographic decline to encourage young women to have children.

Furthermore, attempting to address the issue on the demand side is dangerous, as unilateral efforts to restrict trade have historically served as a precedent to war, and given the ease with which modern computer technology crosses borders, may not even be possible.

*I say theoretical because equating spending with production is an increasingly flawed concept, especially in a service economy.

The empire of freedom

Ben Shapiro dreams of Rome:

But now, America faces a crossroads. Since the death of the Soviet Union, we are unquestionably the world’s only superpower, the world’s remaining empire. Acquiring an empire requires a different mindset than maintaining and expanding one. Empires either decline or they grow. If America is to survive and flourish, Americans must realize that empire isn’t a choice: It’s a duty….

No one said empire was easy, but it is right and good, both for Americans and for the world. Forwarding freedom is always important, but it is especially important where doing so ensures America’s future security — as in Iraq. Maintaining American empire will require Americans to recognize the dangers of impatient isolationism.

Does anyone have any more doubts about the likelihood that we will bear witness to the dying throes of the Republic? Ave Caesar! I do find it curious, however, that Mr. Shapiro doesn’t see this duty extending so far as to actually serve in the military himself.

There are times when the chickenhawk accusation isn’t fair. This is not one of them.

Relax, people

It never ceases to amaze me how almost any topic can be magically transformed into a furious debate about abortion, evolution or the civil war. At least this time the demographic effects of abortion, and specifically sex-selected abortion, was tangentially related to the first of the Three Inevitable Topics.

Also, do leave serious questions and insults about other posters’ religion, appearance and personal idiosyncracies out of it. Such cracks are not interesting, they’re almost never funny and they merely sidetrack the discussion. There are some notable exceptions to this rule, they know who they are and if you’ll notice, half the time I’m their target anyhow. You all already know what I think about ‘equality’ so this is the last place you should expect to find it, right?

Bane and the White Buffalo are artistes of the poisoned tongue, simply appreciate their genius, don’t cheapen their work by attempting to imitate it.