Edifice of Trust Podcast     

Don’t Twerk on My Parade

Victor C. Bolles

November 23, 2022

 

Cultural changes have come to Central Texas in the form of competing Christmas/Holiday parades in the rural town of Taylor. Change is inevitable but not all change is good. In this podcast, the Edifice of Trust host, Victor Bolles, looks at some ways that the people of Taylor can manage the impact of demographic, technological and cultural change. 

 

Quote from the Commentary:

I can understand why the city of Taylor would not want to sponsor a parade that excluded any group of citizens (there could be legal consequences). But I can also understand why the Taylor area ministers would not want kindergarteners and toddlers wondering what a twerking drag queen has to do with Christmas. They might turn to their parents and ask, “Mommy, is that one of Santa’s elves?”

Toxic Magic

and the Red Ripple

Victor C. Bolles

November 11, 2024

 

An endorsement from former President Donald Trump was magic for his chosen candidates in the Republican primaries, but the results of the 2022 mid-term elections have shown that his endorsements are toxic in the general election. Mr. Trump plans to make a major announcement on November 15th that is widely expected to affirm his candidacy for president in 2024. He can probably win the nomination with the support of his base, but his run for a second term is doomed to fail and is likely to drag down other Republican candidates across the country – handing the control of government to the Democrats. In this podcast, the Edifice of Trust host, Victor Bolles discusses what Mr. Trump could do, however unlikely.

 

Quote from the Commentary:

“In the mid-term elections after Barrack Obama was elected president, the Republicans gained sixty-four seats in the House and five in the Senate. In this midterm election, it looks like the Republicans will gain ten or twenty, at most, in the House, and maybe none in the Senate. Some tsunami.”

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The War on Profit

Victor C. Bolles

November 7, 2022

 

Joe Biden and the Democrats have a problem with profit. Not just the “outrageous” and excessive profits that the oil companies are reaping now. All profit. Because they think profit comes from exploitation. But profit is much more than that. Profit is a great motivator and change agent, and the Democrats fear the power of that motivation. In this podcast, the Edifice of Trust Host, Victor Bolles, examines the power of profit and why governments seek to control it. 

 

Quote from the Commentary:

So why does the progressive left (along with most of academia) hate profit? Like other people, they hate what they fear. They hate profit because they can’t control it. The Chinese Communist Party realized that they needed the profit motive to create a prosperous modern country. But they fear profit and are now trying to get their people back under control by wringing profit out of their economy.

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The Cult of Woke

Victor C. Bolles

October 31, 2022

 

The proponents of the Woke progressive-left agenda appear resistant to logical argument and react with outrage at any criticism of their movement. They reject analyses based on empirical evidence and doubt that the scientific method can discover objective truth. They react with fury at any criticism of their movement. This resistance perplexed me until I came to the realization that the Woke movement has more in common with a religion or cult than it does an ideology. In this commentary, I discuss some of the things that led me to this conclusion. 

 

Quote from the Commentary:

“But these critical theories that make up the woke agenda are all based on the same faulty foundation of Marxism. Marxism has never worked, and all these new adaptations try to cure or cover up the empirical evidence of Marxism’s and socialism’s failure. Critical Race Theory rejects empirical evidence and the use of the scientific method to search for the truth. Instead, it substitutes narratives, lived experiences and personal truths, claiming science is just another part of the racist system that oppresses blacks and other minorities.”

Wake Up Dems

Victor C. Bolles

October 24, 2022

 

Noble Prize winner Daniel Kahneman explained in his book, Thinking Fast and Slow, that the human brain can be viewed as being divided into two separate brains, the fast thinking instinctual brain that we inherited from our hominid ancestors and our slow thinking cerebral cortex that sets us apart from those ancestors and all other animals. Politicians on the left and right direct their campaign ads to the fast thinking side of our brains, but it is our slow thinking brains that are the solution to our current divisive politics. In this podcast, the Edifice of trust host, Victor Bolles, look smore closely at this phenomenon.

 

Quote from the Commentary:

“You Republicans reading this (commentary) are probably smirking about how gullible Democrats are to be so easily duped by cunning leftist politicians. But wait a minute! Everything I have said about Democrats applies equally to Republicans.” 

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Social Justice is Incompatible with Democracy

Victor C. Bolles

October 18, 2022

 

Many people think social justice is synonymous with democracy, that you can’t have true democracy without social justice. But they are wrong. The Soviet Union fought for social justice but there was no freedom or democracy in the USSR. And Mao fought for social justice but there was no democracy in Communist China. In this podcast, the Edifice of Trust host, Victor Bolles, discusses how the fight for social justice is taking us down a dark and dangerous path. 

 

Quote from the Commentary:

“They use nice sounding words to hide their true motives. Who can be against diversity, equity and inclusion? Those are very nice sounding, even uplifting objectives. But they are merely cover for identity politics, wealth redistribution and multiculturalism.”

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The Pension Pit

Victor C. Bolles

October 6, 2022

 

As exploding pension costs cause state and local governments to cut back on services, citizens are fleeing rising crime, failing schools and increasing taxes leaving only the most vulnerable residents to shoulder the financial burden and their worsening predicament. These financial burdens have been created by public sector unions working in collusion with the politicians who gladly accept their political donations. In this podcast, the Edifice of Trust host, Victor Bolles, examines this growing problem and make some recommendations for reform.

 

Quote from the Commentary:

“Over the last ten years in Chicago, funding for pensions increased 239% while funding for city services only increased 18% over the same period. And 19% of the Illinois state budget goes to pensions instead of services. This scenario is repeated ad nauseum all across this country.” 

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The Difference between Democracy and Liberty

Victor C. Bolles

September 30, 2022

 

Pollsters report that American citizens are very worried about the state of our democracy in the run-up to the 2022 mid-term elections. It is true that left-wing and right-wing extremists are trying to manipulate democracy to meet their own partisan ends, but part of the problem is that many people do not understand how democracy relates to our liberty or how the Founders tried to limit democracy and well as government. In this podcast, the Edifice of Trust host, Victor Bolles, looks at how too much democracy can be a threat to our liberty.

 

Quote from the Commentary:

“It seems un-American, if not downright evil, to say that we should put limits on democracy. But that is precisely what the Founders of this country set out to do. Some of the limits they placed on full democracy were wrong-headed, but some were pure genius.”

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Reward Work, Not Wealth

Victor C. Bolles

September 14, 2022

 

The White House recently released the Biden-Harris Economic Blueprint that lays out what the Biden administration wants to do and what it envisions for the American economy. The Blueprint is based on the premise of rewarding work and not wealth. But this is a false premise based on Marxist thinking. Work and wealth are not opposed but are complementary to each other. In this podcast, the Edifice of Trust host, Victor Bolles, examines the proposed Blueprint and suggests some alternative solutions.

 

Quote from the Commentary:

“The reason that the Biden Economic Blueprint misses the mark, and actually causes more harm than good, is that progressives don’t understand the relationship between work and wealth. They believe that work and wealth are in opposition to each other in some sort of zero-sum game. Thus, the mantra: reward work, not wealth. But people work to build wealth.”

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Semi-What?

Victor C. Bolles

September 8, 2022

 

In a recent speech, President Joe Biden accused ex-President Trump and his MAGA-Republican followers of following a semi-fascist philosophy that, “threatens the very foundations of our Republic.” But fascism has more in common with socialism than with the American founding principles. Fascists and socialists use the same tactics to control a country and its people. In this podcast, the Edifice of Trust hist, Victor Bolles investigates how semi-fascists and semi-socialists do, indeed, threaten our country.

 

Quote form the Commentary:

“The truth is that fascism has more in common with the socialism of the left than it does with America’s Founding Principles. Both fascism and socialism require a strong and powerful state to control, not only the economy, but the people as well. Both require a single political party to control ideological orthodoxy.”

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The Duty of Citizens

Victor C. Bolles

August 22, 2022

 

Citizens of the United States have many civil rights, but they also have duties and responsibilities. Duties and responsibilities beyond voting and paying taxes. Citizens must be productive members of society. Many of the benefits and entitlements provided to citizens by the government discourage citizens from being productive members of society. In this podcast, the Edifice of Trust host, Victor Bolles, commentary discusses the duty citizens owe to society.

 

Quote from the Commentary:

“Politicians use these unproductive citizens as a source of division blaming productive members of society for their poverty. Demagogues and race baiters try to convert them into a base for their political ambitions by telling them that their condition is not their fault. It’s the fault of the system, one-percenters, white supremacy, racial discrimination or some other excuse.” 

Not a Band-Aid

Victor C. Bolles

August 30, 2022

 

Almost everyone agrees that President Biden’s plan to forgive billions and billions of dollars of student debt is a bad idea. But it not a bad idea just because it does more economic harm than good. Nor is it a bad idea because it ignores the causes of the student debt problem, does nothing to solve the problem and, therefore, virtually guarantees that the problem will continue and grow even worse, necessitating additional forgiveness in the future. It is wrong on moral and ethical grounds because it sends the message that people have no agency and must look to government for the solution of all their problems. In this podcast, the Edifice of Trust host, Victor Bolles, looks at some of the reasons we have these debt problems.

 

Quote from the Commentary: 

“These entitlements are conditioning [American youth] to become leeches on society instead of productive citizens. It is teaching them the futility of the middle class values that made America great. It is demeaning to the values of hard work, saving, and delayed gratification, just as the programs of the War on Poverty made a joke of two-parent families.”

 

 

Energy Policy! What's That?

Victor C. Bolles

Excerpt from Principled Policy (2015)

This podcast is an excerpt about energy policy from my 2015 book, Principled Policy. As Saudi Arabia announces a cut-back in production and Russia the shut-off of the Nord-Stream pipeline, some of the events described in my book may seem a bit dated but the underlying concept is still relevant today. Perhaps even more relevant as oil prices fluctuate and natural gas prices soar, portending a winter of super high prices and power outages here and in Europe.

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How to Destroy the Republican Party

Victor C. Bolles

August 9, 2022

 

Former President Donald Trump is the dominant figure in the Republican Party and aspires to be its candidate for President in the 2024 elections. To implement his plans, he is attempting to remake the Republican Party by backing candidates that are loyal to him and his agenda and ousting traditional Republicans whose loyalties lie elsewhere. But his scheme might fail because the candidates he is backing are not faring well against their Democratic opponents in a year when Republicans were expected to do well in the midterm elections. In this podcast, the Edifice of Trust host, Victor Bolles, looks at the implications of Mr. Trump’s plans for the future of the Republican Party. 

 

Quote from the Commentary:

“Given this scenario, Republicans should be in a position to make major gains in the midterms. All the American people want is a return to some sense of normalcy so that they can get on with their lives, which is hard enough to do even in the best of times. Given the antipathy of voters to the progressive agenda demanded by the Democrats, it would take an idiot or a madman at the head of the Republican Party to foul up the 2022 elections. Enter Donald Trump.”

The Deficit Reduction Dance

Victor C. Bolles

August 3, 2022

 

The Inflation Reduction Act concocted by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Democratic maverick Joe Manchin is being rushed through Congress in the hopes of a quick passage before people realize what is actually in the bill and what it means in terms of reducing inflation. In this podcast, the Edifice of Trust host, Victor Bolles, looks at the underlying causes of inflation and why the Inflation Reduction Act has little chance to actually reduce inflation.

 

Quote from the Commentary:

“After a bit of analysis, it seems likely that the Inflation Reduction Act is going to do very little to reduce inflation (the Penn Wharton Budget Model projects that the bill would have no impact on inflation in the short term and only a 25 basis point reduction by the late 2020s).”

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Gasolina Barata

Victor C. Bolles

July 18, 2022

 

First, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador snubbed President Biden’s invitation to the recent Summit of the Americas by refusing to attend unless the dictators from Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua were also invited. At a White House meeting the following week, he chided President Biden about US inflation saying that Americans were crossing the border to buy gasoline in Mexico. After these insults, President Biden journeyed to the Middle East to beg a potentate, who previously had refused to receive his calls, to please pump more oil. This lack of respect for the US and its president is a result of a slavish adherence to the progressive left agenda that has left the US weakened and vulnerable. In this podcast, the Edifice of Trust host, Victor Bolles, look sat what lies behind this contempt for the US and its president.

 

Quote from the Commentary:

“American weakness on the world stage is the result of President Biden’s fervent adoption of the progressive left agenda which includes diversion of funds from defense to entitlements, a regulatory straightjacket for US businesses, and a Green New Deal that decimates domestic energy production while staking the country’s future on unreliable renewable energy sources that require new technology that is yet to be developed to meet the energy requirements of the future as well as dependence on raw materials from foreign countries, many of them adversaries. “

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When Face Value is Two Faced

Victor C. Bolles

July 12, 2022

 

Institutions that are intended to foster professionalism and civic responsibility have been taken over in order to promote progressive ideology. Membership in institutions such as the American Bar Association has declined to only about 14% of practicing attorneys allowing a small minority to realign an esteemed 140 year old institution into a platform for progressivism. And the American Medical Association is using critical race theory to attack systemic racism in medicine. In this podcast, the Edifice of Trust host, Victor Bolles, investigates the hollowing out of vital civic and professional organizations and their transformation into something unrecognizable. 

 

Quote from the Commentary:

The Chicago Sun Times reported that in 2021, the AMA published a plan to dismantle "structural racism" that would encourage "explicit conversations about power, racism, gender and class oppression, forms of discrimination and exclusion." They also plan to and utilize critical race theory as part of the dismantling.

Weasel Words

Victor C. Bolles

July 6, 2022

 

The left is always coming up with new words or redefining the meaning of old words to make their progressive ideas more palatable to the American public. Freidrich Hayek called them weasel words. Words designed to deceive, not inform. One example of weasel words that Professor Hayek highlighted in his book, The Fatal Conceit, are the words “social justice,” which are intended to sound morally superior to regular justice. In this podcast, the Edifice of Trust host, Victor Bolles, investigates the claims of the moral superiority of social justice and also some of the newer weasel words and phrases being pushed by the left.

 

Quote from the Commentary:

“And not only does the supposedly morally superior social justice of the socialist system limit the economic freedom of people, these progressive concepts poison all other human interactions as well. Economic activity seeps into all aspects of human life and politics, defining our aspirations, affecting our education and our livelihoods. Without economic freedom, a person loses the ability to manage his own fate and that of his (or her) family.”  

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Chaos in the Culture Wars 

Victor C. Bolles

June 24, 2022

 

Extremists on the left and right are fighting a culture war to transform America into something unrecognizable. And while they are fighting each other, they demand ideological purity or cult-like loyalty among their supporters, leaving regular Americans stranded and lost. We have seen this before, in the 1930s. And it did not turn our well. In this podcast, the Edifice of Trust host, Victor Bolles, calls on regular Americans to reject these partisan attempts to hijack our country.

 

Quote from the Commentary:

“Neither the MAGA Republicans nor the woke progressive left represent the view of the majority of American citizens. They are the revolutionary vanguard of a new order. They are the Bolsheviks of the 21st century. They are the storm troopers of the new order. And they want to lead America back to the politics of the first half of the twentieth century that resulted in two devastating world wars, wars based on ideology and great power politics.”

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Capitulation (or not)

Victor C. Bolles

June 20, 2022

 

Financial markets are nearing capitulation, interest rates are rising, inflation is roaring, and recession is looming. The American people, along with investors, are hunkering down for a really rough patch. Everybody is adjusting their lives to cope with these new circumstances. Everybody, that is, but the Biden Administration. They insist that their progressive agenda would be on track except for Putin’s invasion, price gouging energy companies and intransigent Republicans. In this podcast, the Edifice of Trust host, Victor Bolles, investigates the implications of the Biden Administration’s response to these events.

 

Quote from the commentary:

With all the markets in decline, where has all the liquidity that has been injected into the economy ever since 2008 gone? If you are lucky, then your losses are paper losses. If you were foolish enough to think that the market could only go up, and you borrowed money to buy even more, then margin calls have probably left you broke. Big hedge funds are feeling the pain (and many have had to liquidate) but your 401 (k) is feeling the pain as well. 

The Pin Factory and Social Justice

Victor C. Bolles

June 10, 2022

 

In the Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith used the example of a simple pin factory to explain the benefits of the division of labor. He went on to show how this division of labor created a supply chain of economic actors making decisions in their own self-interest that supply all the economic necessities of the country. In America, progressive leftists are pushing social justice goals on US companies that will disrupt this dynamic free market economic system. In this podcast, the Edifice of Trust host, Victor Bolles, analyzes why social justice goals, while well intended, are incompatible with America’s free market economic system.

 

Quote from the Commentary:

“Self-interest has been given a bad rap. Self-interest is the attention one pays to one’s own affairs. You work so that you can eat and feed your family. You own a business so that you can increase your wealth and provide opportunities to your offspring. If you don’t pay attention to these details of daily life, who will? Your benefactor, your sovereign, your government?”

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An Open Letter to Sen. John Cornyn

Victor C. Bolles

June 2, 2022

 

An open letter to Senator John Cornyn regarding his efforts to build a bi-partisan consensus on gun reform amid rising concern that current gun laws provide inadequate protection to the American people and their children.

 

Quote from the Letter:

“It is important that some sort of compromise be found because the people need to know that our lawmakers can work in concert when needed for the benefit of the country. Because without that belief, partisan differences can only lead us to despair for the fate of our once great nation.”

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Our Politicians Are Driving Us Crazy

Victor C. Bolles

May 25, 2022

 

Our politicians are driving us crazy. I do not mean this figuratively. I mean this literally. They are driving people crazy and making America a hellish place in which to live. In this podcast, the Edifice of Trust host, Victor Bolles looks at what politicians are doing that are literally making people go crazy.

 

Quote form the commentary:

“Instead of trying to find common ground so that citizens can interact freely on the basis of trust, our politicians are trying to divide us into competing groups. These groups compete for access to government power and entitlement because in this progressive viewpoint all the benefits provided by society are derived from or allocated by government and do not come from citizens interacting together. This model requires a powerful government, not powerful people.”

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More on the High Cost of Free Speech

Victor C. Bolles

May 20, 2022

 

Tragedy follows upon tragedy and the cause is linked to hate speech, disinformation or fake news. It is a natural instinct to want to suppress these sick ideas and hateful concepts. But these evils thrive in the darkness. Their weakness is exposure to light. Free speech carries a high price, but the lack of free speech has an unbearable cost. In this commentary we continue our investigation into the continual high cost of free speech.

 

Quote from the Commentary:

“Mass murders of black people, nightly protests with no apparent objective and blocking police from dangerous neighborhoods are unlikely to achieve the results these extremists seek. Their purpose does not appear to be specific results or outcomes but chaos and disruption. As if they want all of society to suffer the pain of their disturbed thoughts.”

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The Continual Cost of Free Speech 

Victor C. Bolles

May 17, 2022

 

I am quite certain that as we get closer to the November off-year elections abortion, inflation and the war in Europe will dominate the campaign rhetoric and the issue of freedom of speech will be pushed to the sidelines (again). But as Elon Musk recently tweeted, “Free speech is essential to a functioning democracy.” We are already being inundated with hackers, trolls, bots, foreign actors, fake news, conspiracy theories and all sorts of nonsense. And now the Biden Administration wants to create a Disinformation Governance Board. In this podcast the Edifice of Trust Host, Victor Bolles, looks at the assault on free speech being perpetrated by these malevolent characters and now our own government.

 

Quote from the Commentary
“There is a reason why the First Amendment states, “Congress shall make no law (which must also include administrative actions or executive orders) abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.” Government must stay out of speech just as it must stay out of religion. And Elon Musk is right as well. Fact checkers, content moderators and their ilk should keep their hands off free speech.”

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