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The Latest Videos

Can Artificial Intelligence Cure Healthcare?

Victor C. Bolles

January 30, 2023

 

Healthcare in the United States is a mess. And it is a mess because of people. Different people want different things. And powerful people and the institutions they lead have the ability to enact policies that primarily benefit themselves. All these different people and different policies have resulted in a healthcare system that is costly and inefficient and doesn’t serve anyone very well. But maybe we can take people out of healthcare policy. In this podcast, the Edifice of Trust host, Victor Bolles investigates the possibility of using artificial intelligence to create a healthcare system that actually works.

 

Quote from the Commentary:

“the Congressional Budget office projects that healthcare will make up almost a third of our economy by 2035, converting the country into a gigantic hypochondriac incapable of self-defense let alone global leadership.”

Non-Trivial Pursuits

Victor C. Bolles

January 23, 2023

 

Gotchas, paybacks and vendettas do not make for a legislative agenda. They may appeal to the Freedom Caucus, but most Americans want Congress to address the important issues that affect their lives. Not raising the debt ceiling is another act of political theater that will not solve our public debt problem but only compound it. Speaker McCarthy needs to develop a plan to address perpetual deficits and unsustainable levels of public debt. In this podcast, the Edifice of Trust host, Victor Bolles, looks into the causes of continuing deficits and what it will take to put America’s fiscal house in order.

 

Quote from the Commentary:

The problem is that governments resist innovation and reform in favor of stability. But stability brings with it entropy. People become inured to current benefits and want more, people prefer benefits over work and government service becomes drudgery instead of a calling. The social welfare state is constantly in the process of becoming the DMV. 

Urgent Priorities 2023

Victor C. Bolles

January 12, 2023

 

Last year I published a podcast (Urgent Priorities, December 30, 2021) on the urgent priorities that America had to confront in the year 2022. Since many of those priorities were addressed very ineffectively or were not addressed at all, I was tempted to simply republish that commentary again this year. But the world is dynamic, and conditions change so I felt that America’s urgent priorities had to be updated to reflect those changes. In this podcast, the Edifice of Trust host, Victor Bolles will discuss the unfinished business of 2022 and the priorities of 2023 and beyond.

 

Quote from the Commentary:

“There are priorities that affect all Americans, rich and poor, black and white, young and old, whatever. We live in a complex and dangerous world. While our country is rich and powerful, it is not invulnerable. We cannot ignore the events happening around us and we need to be able to influence those events or be prepared to suffer the consequences.”

Wakanda Dreamin’

Victor C. Bolles

December 27, 2022

 

On a recent podcast, professors Glenn Loury and John McWhorter were discussing how slaveowners had used techniques to break a slave’s bond to their past (their history, their  language, their religion, their culture) to make them easier to control and dependent on the slaveowner - a process called natal alienation. But this process seems very similar to the role of the government in the modern welfare state, replacing familial and community bonds with the tendrils of state control. In this podcast, the Edifice of Trust host, Victor Bolles, looks at how the welfare state undermines the values needed to escape poverty. 

 

Quote from the Commentary:

“But as famously noted by Thomas Sowell the black community made slow but steady progress despite Jim Crow laws, segregation and separate but equal schools. Progress that is, until Lyndon Baines Johnson decided to help them. There has been scant economic progress for blacks since the start of the War on Poverty. But any economic progress has been more than offset by the breakdown of the black community.”

The Real Message of Welfare

Victor C. Bolles

December 8, 2022

 

Many people may need public assistance from time to time but the structure of the American welfare state encourages behaviors that perpetuate impoverishment and increase the need for taxpayer paid welfare. The only beneficiaries of the US welfare state are the politicians, the welfare administrators and their union. The poor remain poor. In this podcast the Edifice of Trust host, Victor Bolles, looks at the impact of the welfare state on poor people and how government programs make sure they stay that way.

 

Quote from the Commentary:

“It is very clear that the enormous American welfare system benefits politicians and public employees much more than the poor. The current welfare system actually promotes behaviors that make welfare necessary. These malignant behaviors arise from a rejection (mostly by the left) of the idea that America is a force for good and that Western civilization promotes behaviors that enhance the social contract of society and promotes innovation and economic growth.”

Conservatism is not Enough

Victor C. Bolles

December 1, 2022

 

Labels can be confusing, especially when they keep changing. They are more like brand names than descriptors of political philosophy. When a candidate says “I am a strong conservative” or “I am very liberal” it is hard to tell what they really stand for. But they need to stand for something. In this podcast, the Edifice of Trust host, Victor Bolles investigates the differences between labels and principles.

 

 

Quote from the Commentary:

“The dictionary defines a liberal as a supporter of a political and social philosophy that promotes individual rights, civil liberties, democracy, and free enterprise. But the same dictionary also defines a liberal as a supporter of policies that are socially progressive and promote social welfare. You can see how a person could be confused. I usually classify myself as a classical liberal, which means I follow the first definition.”

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.

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.”

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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.” 

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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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.”

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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.” 

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Urgent Priorities

Victor C. Bolles

December 30, 2021

 

In the year 2022 the United States will be challenged to address urgent priorities of national importance, but our political leaders will be distracted by political priorities as we approach the upcoming off-year elections. As citizens, we need to make sure that our elected representatives focus on issues of national importance and not on ideological agendas or the egos of political leaders. In this commentary, we identify some of these urgent national priorities as well as the distracting political priorities that we need to put behind us.

 

Quote from the Commentary:

“There are priorities that affect all Americans, rich and poor, black and white, young and old, whatever. We live in a complex and dangerous world. While our country is rich and powerful, it is not invulnerable. We cannot ignore the events happening around us and we need to be able to influence those events or be prepared to suffer the consequences.”

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New Year's Eve San Salvador 

December 31, 2011

On New year's Eve El Salvador's capital city turns into a virtual war zone of celebrations.

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