I make my living on the internet. Worse than that, I make my living by enticing you to click on the link to my internet article, thus adding to my pageviews and hence, my paycheck.
It’s a whorish life made respectable because I write about politics. I’m not particularly proud of it but we’re all adults here. We all know — or should know — that the world according to Rick Moran is just one perspective on events. While facts may be immutable, others have different perspectives, different takes on the same set of facts. It’s up to you, the reader, to discern a rough “truth” that allows us to form opinions and make judgments.
But we writers can be clever blokes. We seduce you with the sharp turn of a phrase or a clever play on words. But we don’t even get to try and seduce you until you let us. Hence, “clickbait” was invented.
Editors are paid vast sums (at some places, not PJM) to write headlines that entice, titillate, fool, distract, and otherwise beguile readers into going to the website where the article is posted.
“Clickbait” wouldn’t be possible unless the writer chose a subject that was absolutely guaranteed to enrage one side or the other of the political divide. Exaggeration, hyperbole, and outright lying are allowed as long as the goal is to generate anger and/or hysteria against something or someone.
The inside joke is that when the other side reacts with anger, the outrage itself reveals something about the evil nature of the opposition.
The purpose of this long, pedantic introductory portion of my submission is to beg forgiveness for an author who wrote a hysterical condemnation of a red state because, apparently, its residents are all evil.
No, not Florida, although I miss “Florida Man” stories of stupidity and violence committed by Florida men that we used to post regularly here at PJM. Nor am I writing of Texas, which is a very large, very obvious left-wing target for very large and very obvious reasons.
I’m talking about Lucifer’s Den — the Great State of South Dakota.
“Huh?” you might exclaim. Most rational, reasonable, (sane) people would react that way. But New Republic staff writer Timothy Noah is not rational, reasonable, or sane. He is a whorish mountebank with a talent for selling hyperbole by writing selective, biased fact flakes and passing them off as universal truths.
Nice gig if you can get it.
“South Dakota Is a Moral Sewer and Should Be Abolished,” reads the clickbait headline. Ordinarily, I would chuckle and move on to something more interesting. But the effort to attract my attention was so earnest and obvious, I felt I had to oblige.
After a skewed, biased, and selective history of whites in South Dakota preying on the noble savages in the state, Noah turns his attention to the real target of his wrath; South Dakota is a tax haven and ultra-rich people from New York and California are hiding their wealth from Noah and his left-wing friends.
Apparently, Noah believes that former South Dakota Governor William “Wild Bill” Janklow is the reason we have a trillion dollars in consumer credit card debt.
If Janklow would abolish South Dakota’s interest-rate ceiling, Citibank promised, Citibank would create 400 jobs in his state. In 1981, Janklow delivered. “Thanks to Janklow,” Oliver Bullough wrote in The Guardian in 2019, “South Dakota has a financial services industry, and the US has a trillion-dollar credit card debt.”
Delaware and Nevada followed South Dakota’s lead, creating a financial services boom in those states, too, and prompting Janklow to wonder how he could keep ahead of the other regulatory bottom-feeders. The answer was a see-no-evil approach to individual and family wealth. Already South Dakota had no income tax, no capital gains tax, and no estate tax. Why not make the state even more hospitable to the wealthy by repealing something called “the rule against perpetuities” and rendering family trusts immortal?
Noah didn’t mention that no one was holding a gun to the heads of those consumers who racked up a trillion bucks in credit card debt. The people weren’t hypnotized into buying shiny new toys and expensive baubles on the cuff. Somewhere, somehow, individuals must be held responsible for their own stupidity.
Yes, Mr. Noah. It is, indeed, their fault.
By turning his state into a financial services paradise, Janklow should be tarred, feathered, and ridden out of the state on a rail.
Noah justifies his righteous anger against Janklow because he made it easier for families to pass wealth on to their children and protect it from the ravages of the government.
Noah seems to think that South Dakota is a state of gleaming cities, tall buildings, wildly over-priced restaurants, and gang violence — sorta like New York City, just farther west.
He takes that anger out on trusts, which, in an almost completely rural state like South Dakota, are vital to passing large amounts of land to the next generation.
The rule against perpetuities, which is rooted in eighteenth-century English common law, said that 21 years after the death of the youngest beneficiary, a trust must be liquidated and the wealth contained therein subjected once again to the capital gains tax, the estate tax, and any other taxes that lie within a particular jurisdiction. Later, states amended that to limit a trust’s lifetime to 90 years. The rule was intended to check dynastic power and to restrict the power of the dead over the living.
“South Dakota became a world capital of patrimonial capitalism, with ‘dynasty trusts’ protecting the family wealth of the Pritzkers (Hyatt), the Carlsons (Radisson), and the Wrigleys (chewing gum), among others,” wrote Noah. That may very well be true. But those trusts also protect the wealth of the Smiths, the Jones’s, and other families in South Dakota that have farmed the land, feeding Mr. Noah and his fat-ass liberal friends their entire miserable lives.
Wealth is not created so that cretins like Timothy Noah can cash in on the success of others to fund his leveling schemes. In fact, it’s nobody’s damn business why wealth is created. If South Dakota wants to be a financial services paradise, the state will elect lawmakers to make that so. If Noah doesn’t like it, why doesn’t he run far-left wealth destroyers as candidates for the South Dakota legislature or the governorship?
No doubt the article he writes in support of them will be just as click-worthy as the previous one.