Visions Of Sugarplums

     People respond to incentives and disincentives. Sticks and carrots work. – Charles Murray

     Ordinary people are massively baffled by the weird recent behavior of several major corporations. They look at the behavior of Anheuser-Busch, or Jack Daniels, or Nike, or Disney, and scratch their heads. “What could they have been thinking?” is the usual plaint. Viewed from the incentive structures ordinary people face, the recent behavior of these corporate giants is incomprehensible. Those companies’ severe losses strike us as to be expected…because we would have expected disasters of the same degree, from comparable behavior on our part.

     Ace’s article on Disney tells a strange tale:

     Disney’s woke agenda is already destroying shareholder value:

     The company is now trading 30 percent lower than its pre-Covid numbers and 87 percent below its 2021 peak.

     Shareholders interrogated Iger about Disney’s “not-so-secret Gay Agenda,” as one gay propaganda officer admitted.

     [Disney CEO Bob] Iger defended taking divisive political position after divisive political position, and vowed to keep on doing it, claiming Disney had to push “its values,” despite these obviously not being Disney’s values, but Iger’s and his woke executive corps’.

     He did some double-talk and said that he would keep focus on “entertainment” while pushing Disney’s “values,” but refused to give an inch on pushing his radical Not-So-Secret Gay Agenda.

     Disney’s financials and stock market performance make it plain that the recent adoption of an undisguised LGBTQ agenda – something Bob Iger has openly promoted – has hurt the company and its stockholders. In the usual case, this kind of performance from a chief executive officer would cause his Board of Directors to toss him out, with or without a golden handshake. Yet Iger remains in control of Disney as of this morning.

     Why? Ask that question of everyone involved:

  • Why does Iger persist?
  • Why do his first-level subordinates cooperate?
  • Why does Disney’s Board of Directors permit it to continue?
  • Why do Disney’s lower-level employees permit the ruination of their products?
  • Why does anyone continue to patronize Disney, purchase Disney products, or visit its parks?

     The answers must lie in the incentives and disincentives those persons face. But we must remember that they don’t all face the same ones.


     Decent people must surely be outraged at the treatment suffered by women’s swimming star Riley Gaines at the hands of “transgender activists” at San Francisco State University:

     Turning Point USA and Leadership Institute invited Gaines to speak at an event on the SFSU campus exploring women’s athletics and the inequalities that female competitors could face against transgender opponents.

     Gaines, a former NCAA swimmer from the University of Kentucky, was reportedly forced to barricade herself in a room for three hours for her own safety when student protesters became violent and unruly.

     “She told me she was hit multiple times by a guy in a dress. I was shaking. It made me that mad. It makes me sick to feel so helpless about it,” Gaines’s husband, Louis Barker, told Fox News. “She was under police protection and was still hit by a man wearing a dress.”

     Footage of the campus chaos was shared by Gaines on Twitter in the early hours of Friday morning showing trans activists berating her as security tries to escort the 12-time All-America swimmer to safety.

     “The prisoners are running the asylum at SFSU…I was ambushed and physically hit twice by a man,” Gaines wrote in the tweet. “This is proof that women need sex-protected spaces. Still only further assures me I’m doing something right. When they want you silent, speak louder.”

     San Francisco, once a beautiful city, has descended into a demonic hellhole. Gaines was surely aware of the conditions that prevail there. Yet she agreed to speak at SFSU, and paid a hefty personal price for doing so. Why? Look also at the reverse of the coin: why did those “transgender activists” assault her? How did they succeed, despite the security cordon provided by the university?

     At SUNY Albany, free-speech activist Ian Haworth was shouted down by “transgender activists.” The incentive structures would appear to be similar to those at SFSU.


     There’s a lot more I could link and quote, but the point here is to get people to ask the right questions. Why? Who gains? Who loses? Who would gain and who would lose were the responses of “the authorities” different? What about Us the People? Is it possible to understand what we’re seeing from the rational perspective of cause-and-effect / profit-and-loss? What about what we of the general public are doing or not doing?

     Should we arrive at an understanding of it, how would we change our own behavior? Greatly, moderately, slightly, or not at all? And whatever changes we might make to ourselves, what consequential changes could we expect from those who are destroying all semblance of public order and peace?


     I persist in believing that the phenomena we’re seeing are comprehensible according to the pertinent incentives. I must hope that the appropriate changes to our reactions to them could mitigate them, if not eliminate them entirely. It might be Pollyannaish of me. Nevertheless! I was born into a peaceful, orderly, and largely free country, and I want that country back. Millions of other Americans feel the same. Therefore…?

     Am I shouting into the wind?


Skip to comment form

  1. No. We are paying attention. It’s just that the DIE activists have made it abundantly clear that any open opposition to their agenda WILL be punished:
    – With loss of job/income/ability to access credit/banking systems/lawyers
    – With Lawfare
    – With Social penalties – inability to engage on social media, exclusion from in-person events, forcing friends and family to openly disavow you
    – With Brownshirt tactics – picketing your home, business, your employer’s business
    – With boycotts – both primary and secondary (your customers)
    – With allies in government harassing you, siccing the various agencies on you through aggressive enforcement of petty regulations and investigations

    So, many have chosen/will choose to ‘avoid the whole thing’ and take the easy way out – which means that, save a few stalwarts, any Dissident is on his/her own.

    Sucks to be in that position. I had an early experience with that kind of targeted action. I worked in a near-complete female environment at my first job after high school. I happened to pi$$ off one female, who took offense at an action I had taken at her colleague’s expense.

    She organized the ENTIRE group of women – over 100 of them – to refuse to talk to me. When I entered the cafeteria, they left, or moved away from where I sat. If forced to be in the same room, they would not even look at me. When I had to go to the bathroom, I would be blocked from accessing the stalls. I nearly wet myself a few times.

    Even outside work, waiting for the bus, NOT ONE OF THEM WOULD BREAK DISCIPLINE. I never thought of myself as a social type of person, but even those of us who are generally introverts need SOME human contact.

    Eventually, after my health broke down under the stress, I left. It took me a long time to get over that, and I have never entirely trusted women since.

    The Trans-People lump themselves into that nasty type of activity, so it’s not JUST women. But the numbers fall heavily into that division.

    So, get ready – it’s just BEGINNING to start. Soon coming to your workplace/church/neighborhood – the New Leprosy – Social Distancing for Political Purposes.

    • DrBob on April 8, 2023 at 10:06 AM

    To understand why the Left does this, it is critical to understand what they want. They demand obeisance. It is the only way for them to succeed with their arguments. What the Left wants is SO antithetical to the desires of mainstream Americans, their new tactic is to eliminate dissent. Dissent is eliminated if the opposition is afraid to speak. Cancel culture is the sharp edge of that sword, but ridiculous demands are the handle to the blade. The demands have to be wildly crazy. Mutilating children, denying the reality of XX and XY, etc, etc. Even medical schools now teach that gender is a social construct! These positions are wildly insane simply for the purpose of being just that. Force the balance of Americans to simply turn away in disgust and not fight back.

    What to do?

    Simple. As my dear old dad used to say, “call a spade a spade”. Do not go along when you are told homemade pronouns. Epithets are more important than ever. Don’t be cowed be labels applied to you, eg ‘racist’, ‘homophobe’ etc. Embrace them! By not flinching in the face of Leftist name calling, you defeat them. Remember, the end to this entire game is to silence you. Don’t be silenced. Use proper pronouns, don’t do business with companies that openly embrace the Left agenda.

    Speak out, speak up. I am teaching a high school course this semester, and I made very clear on class day one that there were only the standard pronouns allowed in my class. The women and men are referred to as women and men. I don’t truck with any of the Leftist garbage. Guess what? I have had zero push-back.

    Like Luther before the Diet at Worms, speak the truth. It is OUR sword.

    • OneGuy on April 8, 2023 at 10:14 AM

    I think it is coercion and extortion.  Behind the scenes the CEOs and the boards of companies are being fed a constant barrage of how because of past failures to bow to special interest groups they now need to reform.  They are coerced into hiring a radical consultant and extorted into giving that activist control of the corporate message.  I would imagine that many of these higher level corporate leaders are in the dark and surprised when that new activist employee pulls stupid stunts like this.

      • DrBob on April 8, 2023 at 12:01 PM

      Coercion and extortion, yes. But we have a generation of business leaders who are incredibly weak-willed, and for them, giving in and going along is the easy path. I worked for a number of companies over my working life and one thing is very true – anyone can run a business when their market is strong. In times like that, business leaders convince themselves of their brilliance because ‘everything works’. They can also tolerate a lot more dumb moves because the costs of those get diluted. It is when the business climate turns hard that they are exposed.
      It’s participation trophy management – no feelings left behind. Those people are round-heels. The coercion and extortion will not stop, because it works. The insanity will only get more insane.

    • steveaz on April 9, 2023 at 12:02 AM

    I think it is because we are witnessing an enormous cleavage pare the Republic’s flesh from the perspective of the cells nearest the cut.

    I believe stubbornly that our system is working, painfully slowly for our 24-hour news cycle attention spans, but it is working.  The safety net that free inquiry and a pluralistic society provides is laboring to expose the treasons and release the poisonous gases that naturally result from unhealthy ferments in a vibrant civil society.  Even the ruminations and manipulations of our ‘intelligence’ agencies and the extreme turns of performance art, like Transvestitism, are herding us back to the American center, while cutting the tethers that anchor Globalism’s parasitic constituencies to our Republic.

    Yes, it hurts.  Like a constipated bowel, it hurts.  And yes, it is ugly to watch, and every thread of our being wants to turn away from the hemorrhoid’s passing.  But pass it will.  And is.

    America needs to pass the hard stool of racialism, institutionalized as the popularly known ‘Affirmative Action,’ and we need to permanently flush Communism down the toilet after it.  To this end, American Communism’s iconic President’s legacy, the Obama’s, needs to be irreparably defaced, and the Left’s shadow apparatuses in the universities and media need to be brought to bear, or retired.

    Here, too, there is reason for optimism: a surprising voice is suddenly crying out in the Hollywood Wilderness, as none other than Leonardo DeCaprio is testifying about Obama’s foreign donations laundering campaigns.  I believe the ‘roid is moving folks, and America is almost out of the woods.


    • NITZAKHON on April 9, 2023 at 9:04 AM

    IIRC it was Vox Day who said “SJWs don’t want to make a profit; they want to make a difference”.

    Their incentives are very clear.

    • Alex Lund on April 10, 2023 at 7:26 AM

    First of all: Antifa doesnt care if they hurt or kill you!

    If you are declared a NAZI, they will have a good feeling they did something great if they sent you to the hospital or the morgue.

    Their conscience is changed where they dont feel only one thing if they beat up a NAZI. They feel good.

    The left has three big advantages:

    They are very good at planning
    They can assemble a lot of people who dont rat the other one to the Police
    They have the Willpower to act!

    Just imagine we would have the same advantages.

    So, in the above example a few guys would have shown up, used something to block the telephones, barricaded the entrance to the event, some fogmachines would have made everything blurry and after some screams , when the cops appeared they were gone and the Antifa guys would have been looking at a stay at the local hospital.

    Not that I support violence.

Comments have been disabled.