Banned on Twitter

It seems that these days you can be sent to Facebook or Twitter “jail” for merely stating scientific facts or bedrock judicial principles. Or you could lose your job entirely. Who would do such a thing?

The enhanced unemployment benefits due to the COVID pandemic can have a downside that, in the long run, will hurt the workers it’s supposed to be protecting. But there is a better way, if Democrats can get on board.

Mentioned links:

Daunte Wright shooting: Brooklyn Center city manager fired after call for due process for police officer

Spanish politician temporarily suspended by Twitter after saying ‘a man cannot get pregnant’

What Did Congress Expect When It Made Unemployment Worth $15.45 an Hour?

Joe Biden’s $6 Trillion Budget Proposal Will Hike Spending, Keep Deficits Near Record Highs

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Show transcript

Back in April, 20-year-old Daunte Wright was killed when, after resisting arrest, he was shot by a police officer at the scene. Let me just catch you up on the details because in the era of the 12 hour news cycle, this story already has a bit of dust on it. He was initially pulled over because of his expired license plate, but when the cops ran his name it turned out he had an outstanding warrant for possessing a gun without a license in an encounter with police last June. Once they found that out, cops on the scene approached the car to arrest him. He initially complied but at one point got back in his car and attempted to escape. One of the cops, Kimberly Potter, pulled what she thought was her Taser and announced that. However, she had actually pulled her firearm and when she shot she killed him. She is currently charged with second degree manslaughter.

In a press conference, Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott wanted Potter immediately relieved of duty, and noted that the city manager was the person who could make that determination. The city manager, Curt Boganey, came to the podium next and had the audacity to say that Potter would be given due process. “All employees working for the city of Brooklyn Center are entitled to due process with respect to discipline. This employee will receive due process and that’s really all that I can say today.” But by the end of that day, the City Council had had its say. In an emergency meeting they voted to fire Boganey and give the Mayor command authority over the Police Department. Because clearly we can’t be handing out due process to white police officers willy-nilly, and if you dare suggest that we do, well, you’ll pay with your job. Thanks to listener Barb for noting that angle when she emailed me.

Meanwhile in Spain, a politician was suspended from Twitter for 12 hours for speaking a biological truth. That’s right, yesterday you could get put into Twitter jail for voicings beliefs that have been part of Christianity for 2000 years, and today the same thing happens with straight up scientific facts. Francisco Contreras responded to an article where a transgender male claimed to be a father after giving birth to a baby girl by tweeting, “A man cannot get pregnant. A man has no womb or eggs.” Apparently this so shocked the Twitter Ministry of Truth that they slapped him with a warning shot across the bow, if I may do some metaphor mixing, for using hate speech or threatening language. In response, and on Facebook, he quipped, “You can see this is already fascist biology. Next time I’ll try 2 + 2 = 4.”

I’m old enough to remember (and I mean “old” literally, not facetiously) when the Left accused the Right of being the overly sensitive ones, wanting to ban books and censor opinions. Back in the 70s, the Right did want to, for example, ban Tom Sawyer for middle school use because of the use of the N-word. The Left appealed to free speech to keep the book, but some places ultimately did hold off use of it until high school. Different places had different rules, based on what the local community wanted. These days, people get fired for suggesting we stick to a bedrock idea of our judicial system. These days, people are kicked off major, global, communication networks, or major international booksellers’ websites, or refused service, for expressing indisputable biological truths. It is not the Right doing this anymore; it is the Left. And they have tools for shutting down speech that the Right could hardly dream of in the 1970s.


One of the arguments against a boost to unemployment benefits is that the extra money the government has been handing out during COVID, which has been extended until September, winds up paying people more to stay home than to work, and therefore unemployment will continue to be a problem and businesses will have difficulty finding people willing to take a pay cut for a job. The Left tends to want to handwave this away, but let’s look at the numbers.

The average unemployment benefit runs $318 per week. The benefits from COVID relief bill added another $300 per week. So take $618 and divided by the average 40 hours per week and you get…“Computer, what is 618 divided by 40?” An average of $15.45 per hour. For those who were making less than that, do you really think they’d take a pay cut until September to start working now? And even some making more than that may decide that they can do with the slight pay cut if it means not having to punch a clock.

The upshot, of course, is that small businesses can’t find people to work for them. This is another part of economics that the Left doesn’t (or won’t) get; people respond to incentives. If they can make $10 an hour carrying boxes back and forth on a loading dock, or $15.45 sitting at home, what do you think they’ll do? And now that we have COVID vaccines fully available, why have we extended this until September? This just gives those small businesses more time to close down due to lack of workers, and then when those workers finally start looking for jobs, they won’t be there.

The cynics among us would suggest that this is, in fact, the plan; artificially cause a recession, with businesses closed and high unemployment, in order to get people more dependent on the government. That dependence means more power for those in political office because if you are dependent, you will vote for the person or party that promises to give you more of what you want. As I said, it’s a rather cynical outlook, but we already see some of that playing out today. The April jobs report, which was expected to show an increase of 1 million jobs, picked up only 266,000, and this while coming out of a pandemic where the pent-up demand for jobs and goods was going to explode. If Joe […] Biden and his policies can’t even take advantage of a natural bounce, he just can’t handle it at all.

But there is some sanity on the horizon. Some folks who still do understand economics (often called “Republicans”) have been trying to rework these incentives. Instead of giving people these extra benefits every week, they want to instead make them akin to a signing bonus. Republican (there’s that term again) Senator Ben Sasse has introduced a bill to give someone their unemployment benefits as a lump sum once they start a job. Now that’s an incentive that will actually get Americans back to work. Of course, no Senate Democrat has publicly endorsed this so far, which shouldn’t be a big surprise. But this should show which party wants to help both the worker and the larger economy; it can be done.


And finally, you know how the phrase “tax and spend Democrat” has become something of a cliché? Well there’s a reason for that, and here comes the latest example. The budget proposal that the Biden administration sent to Congress was $6 trillion. Consider that previous budgets had only recently topped $4 trillion, you see why the cliché has had such a long and well-deserved run.

Filed under: Economics & TaxesFree SpeechGovernment