Posted Oct 16, 2019 at 13:50. Revised Jan 9, 2021 at 19:00.
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Contents — 2016 Election Results Leave Oberlin College Jumpy
Animals predicted 2016 election results?
For many years, farmers in Central and South America noticed that their animals would occasionally become restless and attempt to smash their way out of their pens or corrals. Many farmers believed this behavior was because the animals knew a major earthquake was imminent.
Knowledgeable people thought this was just ignorance and superstition on the part of the farmers, but over time, there was a growing realization that the animals knew something. No one was able to explain with certainty how they were detecting impending earthquakes, but there is much evidence that they knew when an earthquake was coming.
The 2016 election results shock Oberlin
The 2016 political situation in America was similar to the situation spooking the animals before an earthquake. Many people (the animals) knew that something was wrong and that there was trouble ahead, but they weren’t sure what it was or whom to blame. The people in the Establishment, like the Oberlin College Board of Trustees, have a hard time believing that many in the ordinary rank and file (the animals) could have known something that the elites like them did not.
Politics had manifested itself in two extreme groups of people, a group of conservatives who wanted to throw the rascals out and replace them with people who respected traditional values, and a group of extreme progressives who wanted to throw the rascals out and then massively redistribute wealth.
Even though these factions regarded each other as enemies, they had a great deal in common. Both wanted to tear up the current order and replace it with something much more to their liking. In each case, the people of these two extremes were often ignorant and dumb, having simple-minded solutions that would create more problems than they would solve. Because of this, the Establishment had difficulty listening to inarticulate outsiders. Ironically, the Establishment elites were also uninformed about what was happening in the world beneath their feet.
Much of what was happening was a result of the ever-growing complexity of society, technology, and current life. This complexity guarantees that people will be progressively less informed about what was going on. There is too much for any one person to absorb. It also results in ever-increasing specialization to deal with the fragmenting pieces of everything.
The people best able to master a world of growing complexity and keep it running become increasingly more valuable and thus can demand bigger paychecks. Those less able to stay on top of developments are less valuable economically and paid accordingly. Neither a return to the traditional values of earlier years nor wealth redistribution can reverse the forces of growing complexity.
Student protesters and complexity
Complexity has become the great constipator of society and has created new opportunities for opportunists. It is in this context that the Oberlin College Board of Trustees (The BOT) and student protesters have become mentally constipated and think things through only partially. They are not alone; consider the gold mine complexity has created for tax lawyers and tax accountants.
Why tax lawyers love complexity
Since 1981, there have been many conservative and progressive income-tax changes that promised to produce more tax fairness and less extreme wealth distribution. The result of each reform was the inequality increased, partly because increasing tax complexity makes the most successful people more able to game the enhanced tax system complexities. Tax revisions suit the self-interest of tax accountants and tax attorneys because even a simplification of the tax code usually requires more compliance advice.
Each tax revision helps tax practitioners to become ever bigger leeches on the economically productive segments of society. It is simple: more tax law complexity (and change) generates more wealth for tax specialists. The beauty in this scam is the people will demand tax revisions forever, thereby giving the legislators a perfect excuse for saying: “We are only complying with what our electorate has requested—which is what our job requires us to do!” (And we laugh all the way to the bank in the process!).
If pro is the opposite of con,
then what is the opposite of progress?
Complexity compounds the difficulties
The College trustees are as nervous as the animals in the barnyard (the Oberlin students) were after the election earthquake hit. The trustees’ dereliction of duty, from the time of the great Tappan Square earthquake of Nov. 9, 2016, when the Gibson’s shoplifting incident occurred, to Oct. 2019, is a predictable outgrowth of growing complexity—once you dig into some of the forces creating the mess. Everything is unfolding before our very eyes, and most people don’t believe what they are seeing.
/s/ JD Nobody, OC ’61.
The purpose of this blog is to tell the other side of the Gibson’s Bakery, OSCA, the Kosher-Halal Co-op, and UAW stories to Oberlin Alumni lest they believe the College’s heavily redacted and whitewashed version of events. Please tell your fellow Obies how our college has damaged its reputation, the worth of our degrees, the Gibsons, the college’s union workers, K-H, and the OSCA Co-op tradition. No pandemic, sleazy PR, or conflating of libel and slander with free speech can divert attention from the BOT’s negligence in these matters. Speak up and insist that the BOT arrest its compulsive, neo-Puritan righteousness, which has already eradicated either THOUSANDS of $36,000 scholarships or 225 Steinway concert grand pianos — just to wreck a tiny bakery, a cooperating union, K-H, and the OSCA Student Co-op!