Catching Saul Alinsky's Virus 5

Time for Trump to smash some Democrat chokeholds on our economy.

The legendary Chinese military author Sun Tzu famously wrote, "If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles."  Republicans apparently don't know either - they nearly always lose political battles, even ones they should easily have won.

Donald Trump's been doing somewhat better than we're used to seeing, but he can't do it alone.  In this series, we've been trying to analyze the infamous Democratic technique of "never letting a serious crisis go to waste," and attempting to come up with ideas for how we can use their methods for our own ends.

Usually, this works best by sliding a carefully-thought-out clause deep in some giant bill where nobody will notice it until its results are felt far down the road.  Occasionally, though, a highly visible direct assault at the right moment can accomplish great things - if you have the boldness to act.

Abolish the Federal Minimum Wage

Nancy Pelosi has long wanted to boost our national minimum wage to $15 everywhere in America, as if living costs in high-tax areas such as New York City were comparable to living costs in, say, Kansas.  This is merely another sop to labor unions who collect lot of money from their members and give some to Democrat politicians. 

It doesn't matter to either Democrats or their union paymasters that raising the minimum wage makes automation practical for many jobs - fast food outlets are replacing counter staff with touch screens - or that even if the business survives the increased labor costs, many minimum wage workers get fewer hours and take home less money.

What matters is that many union contracts specify wages as a percentage of the federal minimum wage.  If the minimum goes up, automatically so do all the wages which use it as a benchmark.  This is a job-killing measure - except, of course, for government workers who're convinced that they will never run out of other people's money.

In a nation as vast and diverse as the United States, there is absolutely no legitimate reason for a single national minimum wage at any level.  There are whole states of "flyover" country where $15 is a solid middle-class wage, not a starting level first-job pay.  And then there's New York City, where a full-time $15/hr job can barely provide a box under a bridge.  Why on earth would anyone try to use the same rule everywhere?

Considering that as many as a third of Americans have been thrown out of work in the course of one pay period, this hardly seems the right time to leave up any barriers whatsoever to employment.  Indeed, just as Mr. Trump has been tearing down red-tape obstacles to making masks or using potentially lifesaving drugs, he should do the same for obtaining a paying job.  We'll enjoy hearing the Democrats scream - and American workers would be grateful for making it easier to find work.

Getting rid of a national minimum wage would, of course, not prevent states or cities from having one.  That would simply encourage the kind of experimentation our federal system is supposed to be designed for.  If Seattle or New York want to have high minimum wages, that's fine - businesses and workers can move to Texas instead, where we hope they'd have learned to vote against Democrats no matter what.

Promote Homeschooling

There are many studies which show that homeschooled kids are better socialized and learn more than kids in the public schools.  We've written about the many free resources which can help kids learn outside traditional institutions.

In a perfect world, all parents would be deeply involved in their children's education.  In our profoundly imperfect coronavirus-panicked world... parents are forced to be deeply involved in their children's education whether they like it or not, because all the schools are closed and they're stuck at home with their brats.

The Department of Education can issue regulations requiring public schools to cooperate more with home schoolers so that kinds can play on athletic teams or take driver ed without problems. They can also require that colleges be more friendly to home-schooled students.  This suggests a pretty monumental latent power - which we oppose the existence of, but if the Democrats are willing to use it to force boys into girls' bathrooms or to destroy due process for students accused of sex-related offenses, why can't we use it for good?

Most public schools are closed, so any education kids get during the lockdown will come from their parents.  We've been convinced for a long time that parents are a child's most effective educators and that subcontracting a child's education to others is generally a bad idea.

The educational establishment hates homeschooling, of course, since many states fund public schools on the basis of now many kids attend.  Any homeschooled child costs the public monopoly money.  And yet here we are, with every single kid being educated outside the public school system.

If Mr. Trump wanted to give the educrats total heartburn, he could require that Federal education dollars be spent on voucher systems, which let parents choose the school that gets the money, and that those be extended to home schooling.  This would make it possible for more parents to stay home and fulfill their obligation to raise responsible, law-abiding, taxpaying members of the next generation.

Who knows, some parents might be deciding that they like taking that responsibility now that it's been forced upon them!  The fact that idled public school teachers are mostly still collecting a paycheck while requiring parents to watch their own kids will simply make this change easier.

It's not just K-12 education that needs a hefty dose of freedom.  When it was realized that people with college degrees made more money than people without, nobody noticed that the choice of degree mattered too.  Our government showers loans and Pell grants on students regardless of their chosen field, even though some fields are entirely worthless.  At best, "XX Studies" programs produce indebted baristas who aren't paying back their loans; at worst, they slide into high-paying government "jobs" whose purpose is to prevent other people from doing productive work.

The discussion of education policy has grown incoherent because nobody can agree on the purpose of education.  Democrats are convinced that the purpose of education is to provide safe jobs for academics who indoctrinate young people in liberal dogma and train Social Justice Warriors.  Few teachers seem to realize that their pensions won't get paid unless they teach students to be world-class taxpayers.

Ivy league colleges have different objectives from STEM schools.  "The Purpose of Education - University Goals" discusses competing convictions about the purpose of education.  If we can't even agree on the purpose of education, how can we agree on how it should be conducted?

In a very large country, any attempt to enforce unified standards on what it means to be educated is stupid and counterproductive.  Instead, we need to take this opportunity to liberalize the regime, allowing and encouraging the maximum flexibility for how education can be supplied and consumed

Mr. Trump should not only encourage home schooling, he should also encourage vocational training, apprenticeships, and all manner of nontraditional outside-of-classroom learning.  We're going to need a lot of welders, plumbers, electricians, auto mechanics, and other skilled trades to maintain our high-tech civilization.  If we run short of elevator mechanics or air conditioner technicians, our cities will become uninhabitable.  Best of all, skilled trades aren't taught by tenured professors in Womyn's Studies, they're taught by practical people who know how to do something useful and can identify nonsense when they see it.  Their lives and livelihoods depend on fixing equipment correctly.

Being stuck in the house with their kids is a rare opportunity for parents to actually see how worthless or counterproductive much of their kids' education has been.  We hope they'll take the illustration to heart.

Build the Wall

The epidemic is obviously a national emergency - whether or not it was in the first place or needed to be, we're certainly in one now.  Even some normally "open borders" Democrats have realized that allowing infected persons to enter their communities is not a good idea.

That is why Mr. Trump suspended flights from China, only to be accused of over-reacting and racism by Sen. Schumer and Rep. Jerrold Nadler.  He was then criticized for under-reacting, then accused of even more racism, but his shutting down travel between the US and China and then Europe has clearly delayed the spread of the disease.

He is not the only leader who has figured this out.  CNN tells us that Rhode Island police are knocking on doors to identify people from have fled the New York contagion.

... joining other states in restricting the movements of out-of-state visitors to slow the spread of coronavirus.

Kentucky's governor says he is considering closing the border between Kentucky and Tennessee, and checkpoints have been set up in the Florida Keys to restrict access.

"Right now, we have a pinpointed risk that we need to address, and we need to be very serious and that risk is called New York City," said Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo at a news conference Friday.

Well.  Will wonders never cease!  We have Democrats using government power to restrict disease-carrying immigrants from other states!

Mr. Trump has already declared a national emergency to justify using other money to build the wall.  He should accelerate that and issue an executive order to all sanctuary cities to turn over names and contact data of the illegals they know about so they can be deported.

It would have been simpler not to let them in in the first place, but better late than never.

Restructure Medical Malpractice to be like Workmen's Compensation

In order to cover workplace injuries, businesses pay into a "workmen's compensation" fund from which workers job-related medical costs and loss of pay are covered.  The rate at which businesses pay is related to the dangers inherent to the jobs their employees do and to the costs incurred by injuries associated with a specific business.  A company which employs computer programmers who sit safely in offices all day is naturally going to pay lower workmen's compensation rates than a coal mine or a road paving company whose employees are more likely to be hurt on the job.

Although there are abuses, the abuses pale in comparison with abuses related to suing hospitals, doctors, and other practitioners for medical malpractice.

True Cost Of Health Care states that medical malpractice claims worth $5 billion were paid in 2003-2005 but that claims had dropped to $3 billion by 2017.  We have no problem with the idea of compensating patients who're genuinely injured by the medical system, but these cases are taken on a contingency basis where lawyers pocket 30-40% of the payments.

It would cost less and give more money to patients to cover medical malpractice matters with a system similar to workmen's compensation.  This would cut costs for everyone and take money away from trial lawyers who are staunch supporters of Democrats who always promise to block any attempts to reform the medical system.

If you've been following along through this series, you may have a question on your mind: what about China?  Yes, the Democrats have declared themselves enemies of American liberty, culture, and traditions, but the Chinese have as well - and in a much more visibly deadly way.

You're not wrong.  In fact, that topic became so enormous that it really deserves its own entire series.  So, we'll bring this one to a close, and then give China the direct, specific attention that a murderous Communist world power deserves.

Will Offensicht is a staff writer for and an internationally published author by a different name.  Read other articles by Will Offensicht or other articles on Economics.
Reader Comments

And I repeat, "Cut it out!"'re making way to much sense!

April 10, 2020 11:42 AM

Workman's comp is the single biggest financial disaster that ever befell me. I had both Rotator Cuffs torn at work after being sent into unsafe conditions. (You be the one to go ahead and tell your employer no and then explain to your wife why you lost your job) A bungling surgeon selected for proximity blew the left repair and sent me back to work too soon after the right repair and both tore again. The second surgeon was competent and both shoulders are somewhat better now. I am crippled for life, however, and doing work causes uncalled for pain. The workman's comp lump sum "life of the man" payment is an insulting formula derived from a short life expectancy determined many decades ago. The weekly payments are less than a family man with dependents would net, only single people come anywhere close to an equivalent pay because of the higher tax rate. A total of a couple of years of this destroys savings and causes debt. I would have been much better off financially if I had just adapted to being unable to lift my hands above my heads for the rest of my life and never had surgery due to the employer and doctor protections of Workman's Comp.

I am not happy with you for wanting malpractice to be the destruction of people's lives like the vile workman's comp system. Workman's comp relieves employers of being accountable for safety in any financially meaningful way. One thing Malpractice Liability does is it forces people and soulless corporations to be a little bit more careful with how they treat people. It is hard enough to sue the quacks already, no attorney would work with me to sue the quack who crippled me because it was a workman's comp case. If what you propose were to see the light of day, many lives would be destroyed and some lost as the corporations moved to cut cost once they were free of anything but a token liability.

Things like this are why I cannot ever be a conservative again, I cannot support the Evils, but the Stupids seem to be unable to show any understanding for the afflicted. This causes the Stupids have soulless reactions to other people's disasters that take a badly flawed system (being able to sue) and would turn it into a soul and body crusher that causes incompetence to go unanswered in the medical realm. (IE your protection of quacks patterned after the employer protection scheme called workman's comp.)

I like most of your product, but not this part of this one.

April 10, 2020 3:29 PM


We are very sorry to hear of your misfortune, to say the least.

There is no perfect system in this fallen world. No matter what we choose to do as a society, it won't work out well for somebody. The objective has to be simply, to try to improve average results and make things better overall.

Before the worker's comp system, laborers who were injured were just on their own tough luck. Obviously that's no good.

If companies were required to directly cover all medical expenses, though, small businesses would be immediately bankrupted by any accident. That's no good either.

If companies simply had to buy insurance, naturally they would buy the cheapest, crummiest they could find, since most workers would never need it and wouldn't care. That's not ideal either.

The thought behind a state workers comp system is that, at least that way it's answerable to the voters overall, and everyone is in the same basket together. As in your case, this certainly doesn't guarantee a good outcome every time. I just have a hard time coming up with a way that's obviously better.

We've never dug deeply into the intricacies of workers comp, but we'd certainly be open to any suggestions as to how it could be improved. Do you have any?

April 10, 2020 4:04 PM

Certainly couldn't agree more that we should bust up the Democrat honey pots like public education ( teacher's unions) , medical malpractice ( trial lawyers) and illegal immigration ( dependent voters and stuffed census tracts) . These , along with govt and private unions, have been the source of Dem dependent votingpower and contributions.
I do think that the folks of Rhode Island may suffer economic harm by their " we don't want New Yorkers" campaign. Specifically there are a lot of New Yorkers who will be renting/buying summer homes in places like Block Island, Watch Hill, Newport , and Narragansett in a few weeks. I imagine that many will consider alternatives on Long Island, Connecticut, New Jersey and Massachusetts. This may not be a good year to discourage revenue to your state.

April 10, 2020 4:17 PM

Home schooling: What about the parents who don't know the difference between a verb and a noun or adjective and adverb? Parents who don't know how to spell? And don't get me started on people not knowing the difference between "your" and "you're" How the hell can the possessive be a verb? Parents who don't know the difference between a percentage and a percentage point or get lost in fractions?
"Americans go to war to learn geography" Ambrose Bierce.
I wonder how you learnt to read and write?
Economics may give us a living but philosophy and the arts enrich it.
History example: When I went to school history lessons consisted of knowing dates and characters within those particular time frames. Daughter Polly came home with a question "What impact did the Vietnam war have on international relations?" Fortunately, because of my broad school education I was able to help her to structure an acceptable answer. How? By not doing the work for her but posing questions. The Socratic Method.
In Australia we have a minimum wage of $740.80 per week which equates to $19.49 per hour (US$470.48 and $12.38 respectively). The hourly rate is higher for part-time and casual staff. It is determined by an independent body which receives submissions from union and employer representatives. Every time there is a review the employers say it will lead to loss of jobs. Unemployment rate continually stays the same. In Australia we have four weeks' holiday plus another 10 days of public holidays. Whenever I visit the States I'm dismayed when I hear about the minimum wage some workers receive. People having to work 2 or 3 jobs just to stay afloat. Low wages equates to an underclass which those with money want to foster and which you seem to support.
Some of your points I find otiose and the myrmidons in the Republican Party not thinking about the disgrace Trump brings upon America beggars belief.

April 10, 2020 9:38 PM


One of the troubles with workman’s comp is that the payments for being crippled are based on a maximum of 500 weeks in my state, that is just under 10 years. This number comes from the days that a worker was expected to kindly die within a decade of being injured. They are also based on the average wage in my state. This is great for someone making low wages, but if you dug ditches for four years while going to night school to be able to better support yourself and your family as a journeyman, this is not so good. In both cases, you are not going to be able to do the kind of work you used to do. While you are off of work after an injury, you are expected to be just fine with 2/3 of your normal wages. (The payments are tax exempt, but for a person supporting a spouse and children, taxes are low anyway.)
Please take this the correct way, with much respect and appreciation for how kind and knowledgeable you are, but you ought not try to fix a problem by having the various state and federal governments take over the issue like having a system like workman’s comp applied. Workman’s comp is still a government system. Workman’s comp protects the employers far more than it does the workers, largely because employers are positioned to buy politicians and workers are not. Workman’s comp may have been a good thing in the early 1900s, but it is not today. May I suggest as quick primer on Workman’s Comp this article located at I disagree with their statement that everyone is happy with this system, but otherwise this is pretty accurate.
The fix for workman's comp is the reintroduction of some liability for employers and medical people instead of blanket protection.

The existing medical tort system provides for an unimportant person to bite a big company hard enough to get their attention. There are some innocent doctors, but in the battle between patient and doctor, the doctors have vastly more resources than most patients.
The fix for the medical price issues are to remove the government from the system with the exception of providing some level of care for those who are unable to pay for themselves. That’s it. This will also never happen, politicians tend to stay bought and “big medicine” and “big law” own many politicians.

April 12, 2020 3:50 PM

Additional Ideas: 1) The Income Tax, end it completely, both personal and corporate. Gone. Never ever to be seen again. End it in State and end it Federally. Let the world's businesses rush to our shores.
2) Besides the very good idea that Trump & Republicans should gain the right over all beaurcracies of "You're Fired!", we can add the right of "You're Abolished", as in we abolish entire departments. Bye to the Department of Education, etc.

3) We empower all our schools via being paid directly by parent vouchers. We want actual in the hand check-like vouchers for each child and the parent takes that check-like voucher to the school of their choice. Next we want all principles to establish Teacher Pay, not the Unions. No history, or math or english teacher will earn the same Union determined & mandated pay - thats illegal from here on out.
4) Courts & Police: We want our courts to get better and focus on facts and Justice. We want a positive and negative feedback system into our courts that zeros in on facts and Justice and not rules and regulations. We want our police to have clear positive and negative feedback system of law enforement and justice. Its inability to stop / catch criminals, recover stolen goods, and pay for the damages that the Police cause must end. We want Adam 12 local friendly known police, not Robo-Cop militarized alien police. We want police who know the Bill of Rights and know better than most which rules, regs are crosing the line and are just out to gather up money and fines for the government.
5) Some remaining conservative thoughts & ideas: We want government to focus on only several functions leaving the rest to society. Those functions, Police, Courts, National Defense, and We want to make those operations in government Regulated & Controled, and we want to make those working in government easy to see, easy to track and follow like looking in through a window. Meanwhile we want our personal identities and transactions to be anonymous, obtuse We want to be a "Free Society", not a "Regulated & Controled to death" society. We want to incentize savings, decentralization, individualization, and dispersal of power down to the level of the individual. We want government small, very transparent, and efficiently just & honest. We want certain cultural norms to come about that are not here today such as High Degree of Acts of Charity, Charity giving, Charity Participation, etc. Because there are three large general areas in society, the private sector, the government sector, and the one we also must build is the Voluntary Sector or Charity Sector. This sector is where all liberals should be directing their energies. Government is for order such as Military defense, Police, Courts, and it is this sector, which MUST be volunary, that we as a culture need to instill as the "Right thing to do, the moral thing, the good thing, the best thing". All the empathies that we have towards our fellow citizens, all of that goes to this sector. We need to reward that sector and applaud it and heroize it while never ever requiring it.

April 16, 2020 11:08 AM

I'm impressed! This is only the second time I've been to this site and the articles are articulate, well thought out and most importantly CONSERVATIVE.
Thank you.

As to the article Saul Alinsky's Virus 5, I'll be looking up the other 4. The section on restructuring Medical Malpractice, outstanding! I'd never thought of treating it more like workman's comp is a brilliant solution to a system that is now costing Americans billions in unnecessary law suits.

May 9, 2020 8:11 PM
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