Welcome to the some discussion about the upcoming 5th Revolution in the US, which I’ve titled the “Revenge Revolution.” For more about the Rnd the author? . More about the Revenge Revolution, a list of earlier revolutions and the author, Entry #1 Periodically I write a “sense check” to assess whether a revolution in the US is possible or whether the entire exercise is based on a statistical aberration — i.e., a roughly 50-year cycle between major upheavals in the US.  Entry #400 was the most recent “sense check.” 

This past week or so, I’ve been struck by a seemingly endless stream of the illogical comments. Maybe Covid has caused society to regress mentally.

My observations and questions may offend some readers. If you are one of those readers, no offense intended.  I think we, that is societal we, need to be asking some difficult questions if we want to make meaningful progress toward practical solutions.  If we don’t address the elephant in the room, of which there are several, proposed solutions will be more like a Band-aides when major surgery is needed. 

I flipped a coin to decide which set of illogical statements/actions should be addressed first.  Republicans won the toss.

Illogical comments from Republicans seemed to center on:

  1. “Election was stolen from Trump!”
  2. “Events at the Capitol January 6 were like an ordinary group of visitors.”
  3. “Covid-19 vaccines are bad for you.”

If you actually believe any of these claims, then you are living in a dream world.  Ask yourself, “Where am I getting information?”  “Is the information credible?”  “Why do I believe it?”   “Would I or do I use these same sources of information for other parts of my life?”

Part of the illogic from Republicans is the claim there are two sets of facts.  No, folks, there’s one set of facts.  People might interpret the facts a bit differently but interpretation is different than claiming there are two sets of facts.

Ask yourself, if Trump and Tucker Carlson on Fox claimed the moon was made of green cheese, would you believe them?  If you believe what comes out of Trump’s or Carlson’s mouth, then you might as well believe the moon is made of green cheese. Much of what either of them says has no basis in fact and completely fabricated.

The idea there was widespread voter fraud is beyond ridiculous.  Even Republican officials in Republican-dominated states said there was no voter fraud.  So why all the effort to suppress voting?  Obviously Republicans are afraid of losing the majority to “those people.”  Well, my friends, big lies and suppression don’t last forever.  And when the 5th US Revolution happens, the Revenge Revolution, those continuing to support Trump will lose more than you would have without all supporting all the lies.

As far as not getting a vaccine, did you get vaccinated against polio?  Against the mumps?  Against measles?  If you don’t believe in vaccines, go talk to someone who’s had Covid and see what the experience was like.  Then ask yourself, “What’s the risk to my long-term health of getting Covid vs the essentially infinitesimal risk with getting vaccinated?”  BTW, the risk of a serious side effect from birth-control pills is higher than the Covid vaccine. 

OK, enough questions for Republicans.  If past is a prologue, no amount of logic will stimulate thinking among Trump supporters.   

Let’s move the other side of the aisle.  Questions, comments observed during last week or so include:

  1. “We need more affordable housing.”
  2. “Housing values in minority neighborhoods are lower than comparable houses in white neighborhoods.”
  3. “Tax rates are higher in certain cities with a higher percentage of blacks and browns.”
  4. “We need better schools in minority neighborhoods.”

Each statement, when taken individually, seems logical.  The problem occurs when one tries to develop a solution that addresses even two of the statements. 

Just take statements #1 & #2.  Few doubt that more affordable housing is needed.  Where should that housing be?  If you want as many people as possible to benefit, then start putting housing in areas where existing home prices are more affordable.  But that option becomes less attractive if somehow values of houses in minority neighborhoods need to increase to match white neighborhoods.  If homeowners in minority neighborhoods want comparable values to predominantly white neighborhoods, then there will be less affordable housing and the problem of available affordable housing will get worse not better.  

So, take your pick.  Want more affordable housing, or do you want values to be the same as in white neighborhoods?  BTW, for anyone who has studied home prices, there are huge disparities between comparable houses in white neighborhoods.  The value of a house is more than the physical structure. 

Take statements #2 & #3 &#4.   Tax rates are based cost of services divided by the value of the tax base.   Most of the cost of city services is fixed – police, fire, refuse, administration, schools, etc.  In most states, a large portion of a city’s revenue is generated by property taxes. 

If the cost for most city services and for schools is fixed, and the value of the house is less, then the property tax rate – amount per $1,000 assessed valuation — must increase. If you want a lower tax rate, then what services are you willing to give up?  If you want better schools, then the tax rate is going to be higher.  Ever wonder why taxes are so, so high in areas with top-notch public schools?  Schools are expensive.  The solution is to have more tax-paying businesses and higher-value homes in the city as a whole.  Don’t get hung up on values neighborhood to neighborhood.   

Another set of comments heard this past week or so focused on how slavery in the US continues to affect blacks. Is slavery the reason or the excuse?  Let’s think about this.  Slavery was abolished 150+ years ago.  That’s equal to 6-7 generations.

A question.  “Why is it that every other immigrant or ethnic group in the US, many of whom arrived 50+ years after slavery was abolished, has managed to pull themselves up economically? And it’s not that many of these immigrant groups we’re not shunned or discriminated against.

Irish Not Apply

Look at a sign typical of the early 20th Century.Some groups also suffered from neighborhoods being redlined.  For decades Jews were often excluded from neighborhoods by redlining, excluded from country clubs, etc.  Oh, BTW, there’s never been a Jewish president, even though there’s been a black president.

So why have blacks stayed at the bottom of the economic ladder? Is slavery the reason or the excuse?  Blacks need to look in the mirror and ask themselves that question.  And take some time before answering.  More next entry.