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America’s Distribution of Wealth

[ 178 ] January 16, 2014 |

If you are like me, you think Lawyers, Guns, and Money has really gone downhill since Erik Loomis began posting here, what with the unionism and socialism and all the other isms that have sought to bring down America. Not to mention thinking climate change is real and questioning our technological utopian fetishism. As a counter to these pernicious foreign ideologies, it’s time to turn to Dr. Clifton Ganus of the National Education Program. He will set us straight on the moral uprightness and godly ways of the American capitalist system. The sheer number of noncontextualized statistics will show the truth of his points. And if they don’t, the English socialist and Russian communist who are totally not Americans doing incredibly lame imitations of the English and Russians will make the glories of American free market crystal clear. Good evening and God bless this great land.

Incredibly, the good Dr. Ganus is either still alive or lived long enough to have his own twitter account, while he chancellor of the right-wing evangelical Harding University in Arkansas, which I think is the descendant of the school he is actually teaching at in this video.

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  • Manju

    Harding University? Ganus? Surely this is Brothel Menu history deja vuing all over again. I for one will not be sucked in this time.

    • Jeffrey Beaumont

      The same thought crossed my mind. This sounds so much like a parody, and frankly I can’t believe that MST3K didn’t get ahold of this for one of their short films.

      • Uncle Ebeneezer

        MST3K was my first thought as well. I particularly enjoyed the emphasis on the link between Communism and bicycles.

  • OtterQueen

    Where are the robots?

    • Linnaeus

      We were promised jet packs.

      • “It’s the year 2000. Where is my flying car? I was promised a flying car!”

        • Dennis Orphen

          I would settle for an XKE.

          • I had an XJ12. It was every bit as troublesome as you imagine it would be.

            I think I put the Jaguar service manager’s kid through college with that car.

            • Dennis Orphen

              One of my friends bought one about two years ago. When he opened the hood I had to look away. Never saw anything so complicated and crowded, Lucas fuel injection too, IIRC. But he only paid something like $2000 for it and it was well maintained, one owner, little old lady and all that. Made me think that I should read Craig’s list more often.

            • Ahuitzotl

              Jags and Triumphs are good like that

        • ChrisTS

          Seriously, this has me totally pissed off. And, you know what? My students say they were never promised flying cars. So, the promise was secretly rescinded by the jerks who were unwilling to deliver!

          • L.M.

            How do you think your students feel? They were promised jobs.

            • kindness

              No one told them it was going to be Mickey D’s though.

      • Bill Murray

        are a great Scottish band

    • OtterQueen

      I meant Tom Servo and Crow.

  • Aaron B.

    I reject the argument that disruptive unemployment due to technological innovation is a reason to stifle innovation. That doesn’t mean I believe all technologies are always good, forever.

    • No robot ever bought a Ford, said Walter Reuther to a company executive.

      • ruviana

        Not yet….

        • Royko

          They’ll probably buy Japanese.

    • I think the world would have gotten along just fine without the Maxim Gun, Sarin Gas and the W-53 thermonuclear warhead. Just to name a few.

      • For the most part the greatest atrocities have been carried out with old not new technologies. Rwanda relied upon radios and machetes, but even the Holocaust which is often brought up as the pinnacle of industrialized genocide did not use new technical innovations. The machine guns used by the Einsatzgruppen, the diesel engines in the Operation Rheinhard Camps, and even Zyklon B in Auschwitz had been around for decades before in some form or another before the Nazis applied them to mass extermination.

        • jim, some guy in iowa

          but everything old was once new, wasn’t it?

          • Ahuitzotl

            those damn pointy sticks, I said it was a slippery slope

        • Matt_L

          The Nazis and their Quisling minions from around Europe were pretty handy with stones, clubs, and machetes too. Go visit Mauthausen where they just pushed people down the steps into a quarry and then curb stomped them to death.

          While most of the killing in the nazi genocide wasn’t high tech, they were definitely trying to sell the world on their own brand of modernity. Racial hygiene, industrial power without a proletariat, advanced transportation (Hindenburg and airplanes anyone?) and communication (radio, prototypes for TV, modern propaganda).

        • Warren Terra

          You’re looking in the wrong place. The technological innovation in the Holocaust was not in the means of execution but in the bureaucratization of death, in the records-keeping and information processing that determined the victims and sped them to their doom.

          • Anonymous

            Yet Erik won’t give up his MacBook Pro, Ipad, (non-union, southern-manufactured) Toyota Camry, gas heat, mass produced clothing, etc, etc, etc.

            No, he just wants everyone else to.

            Oh, and also abolish industrialized agriculture which will lead to billions upon billions of deaths from starvation.

            The Holmodor, the North Korean famine, the Chinese famine…and Loomis’s anti-technology famine that he wishes would come true. What is it with totalitarian, ideological Leftists and famines?

            At least the Unabomber, Loomis’s ideological twin, had the balls to live without modern technology out in the woods. Erik is too much of a little pussy to even try it, but he demands everyone else must.

            Fucking Marxist hypocrite.

            • Warren Terra

              I’m not entirely certain Loomis would recognize himself in the portrayal you present.

            • Is Fucking Marxist hypocrite better or worse than dirty fucking hippy.

              Does anyone have the appropriate scale?

              • Fucking Marxists believe in the equal distribution of fucks. This is a net plus for trolls who would otherwise be fuckless. Dirty Fucking Hippies believe in fucking in natural surroundings, which is a net minus for trolls who have unfortunate memories of poking anthills with sticks.

                • cpinva

                  wait a minute! you mean to tell me there’s a finite number of fucks to be distributed? does everyone start with a specific number of them, and when you use them up, that’s it, no more fucks for you? this could be a real problem.

                • GFW

                  If you run out of fucks someone might give a fuck, but most won’t.

                • Hogan

                  There’s no such thing as a free fuck.

                • Malaclypse

                  There’s no such thing as a free fuck.

                  Certainly not for Jennie.

              • Malaclypse

                I saw the Fucking Marxist Hypocrites back in 1997 at Club Babyhead in Providence. They were opening for Consolidated. This was before they went commercial, obviously. It was the “Let a Thousand Flowers Wilt” album tour, I think.

          • That was not new either. The Soviets under Stalin also had a vast bureaucracy of repression with a huge record keeping apparatus. This bureaucracy was an essential part of the mass executions in 1937-1938, several years before the Holocaust started.

            • Linnaeus

              The Soviets under Stalin also had a vast bureaucracy of repression with a huge record keeping apparatus. This bureaucracy was an essential part of the mass executions in 1937-1938, several years before the Holocaust started.

              That’s close enough for the two regimes to basically be contemporaries.

            • currants

              There’s no question that Leftist Socialism-whether Marxist International Socialism (the USSR) or National Socialism–is the most deadly ideology that ever poisoned the planet.

              • Someone is giving away what fruit they like in their pancakes with that nym!

                • rea

                  Just a guy with a healthy interet in raisen events . . .

              • You have confused Management Information Systems & Marxist International Socialism (the U.S.S.R.) an all too common mistake.

              • Col Bat Guano

                And Jonah lets loose another ripe, juicy fart to contaminate the thread.

          • Linnaeus

            The technological innovation in the Holocaust was not in the means of execution but in the bureaucratization of death, in the records-keeping and information processing that determined the victims and sped them to their doom.

            Right. That’s social technology.

          • Dennis Orphen

            Let’s not underestimate the power of compartmentalization and specialization of the entire process. The first actor(s) only identifies the members of the targeted group. The next actor merely picks them up for “questioning” and delivers them to the headquarters. Someone else there just loads them on the trains, and so on and so forth. Each step, more horrible than the last is justified by “following orders” and “they must be guilty of something or they wouldn’t be here.

      • Grumpy

        did you even read his comment? he’s talking about technology that reduces employment. he also made sure to caveat that “[t]hat doesn’t mean I believe all technologies are always good, forever.”

        if your contention is that the problem with sarin gas was the loss of tech jobs it caused, well, I don’t know what to say to that.

        • ASV

          It’s why I only buy locally sourced, artisanal sarin.

          • Dennis Orphen

            Not tested on animals either one hopes.

          • Helmut Monotreme

            I rely on nightshade It’s better for you because its organic.

            • Left_Wing_Fox

              And now we’re back to ketchup.

        • Just pointing out that technology is usually a two-edged sword.

          Mass production makes for cheap consumer goods but also facilitates mechanized warfare.

          The same technology that produces pesticides and fertilizers also produces high explosives and nerve agents.

          The Wright Brothers believed that the airplane would bring peace to the world by bringing nations closer together. Didn’t quite work out that way.

          I don’t claim to have all the answers, but some people have an almost religious faith that if we can just get enough technology we’ll be living in this Star Trek utopia where nobody has to work and everything is free.

          • Aaron B.

            Yeah, like Marxists.

            Damn techno-utopian Marxists.

      • currants

        Nuclear weapons mean peace.

        • So we should want more countries to get them, because then there will be even more peace?

          • It takes a good guy with a nuke to stop a bad guy with a nuke.

          • currants

            What do you think would have happened by, say, 1965 between the Soviet Union and the USA had nukes never been invented? We would have come to blows sometime after 1945 and there would have been World War III. Full stop.

            • It could have been World War III with nukes and damn near was on more than one occasion.

              We got lucky. Full stop.

              • currants

                It was gauranteed to happen without them. Stalin and the USA would have come to blows even sooner, I think, 1950 at the earliest. Nukes make rational actors act rational.

                There’s been no World War since Nagasaki and that’s no coincidence.

                Thank God for the BOMB!

                • And we could have kicked their butts in 1950 and instituted democracy and capitalism in Russia.

                  John Wayne and Ronald Reagan with the 82nd Airborne would have liberated Moscow.

                  Instead you would condemn millions to live under the yoke of Communism for 40 more years.

                • Hogan

                  And in 1914 there had been no world war since 1815. Remind me who had the nukes then.

                • Lee Rudolph

                  Remind me who had the nukes then.

                  Duh. Xenu, of course.

        • So you support Iran having a nuclear weapon. Awesome.

          • currants

            This only works if the state in question is a rational actor, of course.

            The Soviet Communists, despite being borderline subhuman totalitarian scum, did not, in fact, want to die. They didn’t think nuclear war meant seeing Allah.

            I can’t say the same surely for the Mullahs.

            • jim, some guy in iowa

              my but you’re a class act

            • I see your understanding of Islam is as prescient as your understanding of breakfast.

              • currants

                In LoomisLand, Islam is the religion of peace while Christianity is bloodthirsty barbarism.

                2+2=5, in other words.

                • Allah Ackbar!

                • DrS

                  Uncle Lynn, is that you?

                • cpinva

                  “In LoomisLand, Islam is the religion of peace while Christianity is bloodthirsty barbarism.”

                  i’ll bet there are 1,000’s of people, who suffered at the hands of the various crusaders, who might well agree with this statement. add in those who suffered/died at the hands of the inquisition, and you’re on an accelerating downhill cant.

                • kindness

                  Do you know any Iranians? Seriously, I can’t believe you do. Suggesting that the Persian people are the same as some religious nuts is the same as suggesting that all Americans are like any one of the Right wing fundamentalist christian groups out there.

                  Yea, some exist but it isn’t everybody. I kinda figured you would know that but you show me to be wrong. Should I feel sorry for me or you?

            • But back in the Cold War your ilk said that the Soviets weren’t rational actors because they were atheist commies and didn’t value human life like we do.

              The same was said about the Chinese when they were developing nukes.

              • Also, pre-1989, Russians were subhuman asiatics. (Me and the Mrs still are, but that’s a different issue.) Now, suddenly, they’re the defenders of the white race.

                • Erik Loomis, 1975

                  There’s a big difference between Marxist-Leninist Communists and Russian Nationalists.

            • wjts

              The Soviet Communists, despite being borderline subhuman totalitarian scum, did not, in fact, want to die.

              You can’t possibly be arguing that the Russians love their children, too.

              • Uncle Ebeneezer

                Hopefully in a bumble-bee sweater.

    • Linnaeus

      I reject the argument that disruptive unemployment due to technological innovation is a reason to stifle innovation.

      It’s doubtful, though that innovation, writ large, is in any real danger of being stifled. But we don’t do nearly enough to deal with disruptive unemployment and what we do do is very much being stifled.

    • Warren Terra

      I’d argue that in a society with its priorities in the right place technologies that reduced employment would essentially always be a good thing. If you can be replaced by a widget, society is better off and you are better off if the widget is employed in your place and you perform more meaningful and constructive work, or pursue activities of interest to yourself or to others. This of course assumes that when you are displaced by the widget other work is available to you, or subsidies as you pursue activities other than work. This assumption is false, naturally: in our society the employer pockets the savings (if, indeed, there are any) from displacing the worker in favor of the widget, and the worker gets little or no recompense. But the fault isn’t in the widget, it’s in our society, in our failure to seize the efficiency gains and spend them employing the displaced workers more efficiently, or otherwise subsidizing improved lifestyles for the displaced workers.

      • Fucking human nature!

      • Yes, but we have to live in the society we have, not the one we wish we had.

        If the real-world application of the widget is just going to put more money in my employer’s pocket by putting me on the street, I can probably live without the widget.

        Sure, in a perfect world it would be great to sit back and drink beer all day while the widget did my job, but nobody’s going to pay me to sit back and drink beer all day.

        And if nobody’s paying me, then I have no money to buy whatever it is that widget is producing and then the whole system breaks down at some point.

        Automating one job out of existence isn’t that big of a deal.

        When most jobs get automated out of existence, and we seem to be rapidly heading in that direction, it’s going to be like nothing we’ve ever seen.

        • Right–people don’t seem to see the rise of robotics as a major threat. And there was a time when technological innovations were not so much a threat to most workers because of an expanding industrial economy that might create work for people. But given the general decline in stable work, and especially the kind of life-long careers we need to do things like buy houses and send children to college, is rapidly disappearing, I see a real crisis in the future where work simply doesn’t exist for way too many Americans. I’m sure the plutocrats and their apologists will say those people are lazy when in fact the jobs simply do not exist since they’ve either been shipped overseas or automated.

          • Erik Loomis, 1785

            Right, people don’t seem to see the rise of the steam engine as a major threat. Imagine all the jobs in wood-cutting destroyed forever. Same thing with the spinning jenny, whatever will the weavers do?

            • Did you suggest the spinning jenny because you share a name with it?

              • I’m disappointed that he hasn’t brought puppet studies into this.

            • JL

              Did you read beyond the first sentence of Erik’s comment? For instance, say, the second sentence?

            • stickler

              “Whatever will the weavers do?”

              Mostly, they starved. Sometimes they got uppity.

              It’s like Dickens never wrote any novels.

          • Erik Loomis, 1885

            Right, people don’t seem to understand the rise of the light bulb as a major threat to all the candle workers out there.

          • Erik Loomis, 1975

            Right, people don’t seem to understand the rise of the computer as a major threat to all the typewriter and whiteout industry.

            • JenKnob, 2014

              Right, people don’t seem to understand the rise of the automated pancake maker as a major threat to the diner cook industry.

          • cpinva

            “And there was a time when technological innovations were not so much a threat to most workers because of an expanding industrial economy that might create work for people.”

            there are a bunch of executed luddites, who would like to have a word with you.

          • GFW

            Some far-sighted folks have been discussing this since the 1950s. http://www.automatinginvention.com/archives/2006/01/norbert_weiner.html
            In some ways they were like the Limits To Growth analysts or Malthus … prematurely correct.

            • Helmut Monotreme

              It’s like you begrudge the titans of industry the profits they earn during the decades-long interval when forward thinking people notice that they are up to no good and the rest of society demands action.

        • Linnaeus

          When most jobs get automated out of existence, and we seem to be rapidly heading in that direction, it’s going to be like nothing we’ve ever seen.

          Some folks thought about that.

          • He always was way ahead of the curve.

        • Aaron B.

          Yes but of course many developed social democracies are doing a perfectly fine job spreading the benefits of technological efficiency gains. The problem isn’t “the inherent nature of capitalist society” or anything fundamental, it’s just bad policy. I know Erik supports moves in this direction, and I don’t think spending your time opposing efficiency-promoting inventions is anywhere near as likely to succeed as standard progressive taxation and social welfare stances.

  • Todd

    It’s still probably better than “Lone Survivor”.

  • snarkout

    Clifton, not Clifford, Ganus.

  • ChrisTS

    what with the unionism and socialism and all the other isms that have sought to bring down America. Not to mention thinking climate change is real and questioning our technological utopian fetishism.

    And the violent threats involving sticks!

  • Larry

    I love two things in the first 10 seconds of the video. One, the students didn’t walk across the grass but stayed religiously on the sidewalks (I couldn’t see if they were avoiding the cracks), and, two, the good doctor sounds like he’s on helium.

    This is ‘the very pinnacle’ of a good propaganda film.

    • Anonymous

      Shhh! Marxism cannot be failed-it can only BE failed.

      • Linnaeus

        No, that’s conservatism.

      • cpinva

        “Marxism cannot be failed-it can only BE failed.”

        you keep using that word. I don’t think that word means what you think it means. what you’re talking about is Stalinism, not to be confused with marx/engels/hegel, none of whom endorsed mass murder.

        • Well certainly not Hegel who is not part of the official Marxist-Leninist cannon. Marx wrote very little about socialism per se. Almost all of his writing is on capitalism. He did not leave an actual blue print for what a socialist society would look like. Neither did Engels.

          Lenin, however, was the first leader of the USSR established in Dec. 1922 after a rather brutal suppression of an array of political opposition from 1918-1921. Here we encounter a problem. The Soviet leadership starting with Lenin wanted to create a dictatorship of the proletariat in a country where the vast majority of the population were peasants. To make things worse the small working class were predominantly ethnic Russians while about half the country were other nationalities. So rather than establishing a dictatorship of the proletariat where the proletariat were a majority they had to use a vanguard dictatorship to forcibly create a working class and suppress or destroy those elements of society deemed to be obstacles. This required an extreme amount of violence. So already under Lenin you have the destruction of opposition political parties and independent unions. Given the minority position of the Bolsheviks in terms of their social basis this was not surprising. The peasant based Social Revolutionaries had a broader, but obviously not stronger base of support than the Bolsheviks.

          Accepting the Leninist precept of a vanguard worker’s party led by intellectuals in a country with very few workers greatly revised Marxism. The problems this created were never fully worked out in the USSR. Other Marxist-Leninists thought to put more emphasis on the peasantry, but Mao and Ho Chi Minh still found it impossible to successfully modernize the agricultural sector as a base for economic development. The only socialist state where there was not a lot of violence used to collectivize agriculture was Cuba. But, a number of Latin American historians believe that Cuban agricultural workers were not in fact peasants as in the Russian Empire, China, or Vietnam. They instead argue that they were a proletarianized work force. So in the case of Cuba Marx’s prescription of needing a strong proletariat did in fact exist whereas it did not in Russia, China, or Indochina. In which case in Cuba you have a rather strong rejection of Lenin’s revision of Marxism.

          • JL

            See, this is a rather interesting comment, as opposed to the troll’s “Derp derp Marxism = socialism = social democracy = communism = Stalinism” nonsense.

    • currants

      Yet Erik won’t give up his MacBook Pro, Ipad, (non-union, southern-manufactured) Toyota Camry, gas heat, mass produced clothing, etc, etc, etc.

      No, he just wants everyone else to.

      Oh, and also abolish industrialized agriculture which will lead to billions upon billions of deaths from starvation.

      The Holmodor, the North Korean famine, the Chinese famine…and Loomis’s anti-technology famine that he wishes would come true. What is it with totalitarian, ideological Leftists and famines?

      At least the Unabomber, Loomis’s ideological twin, had the balls to live without modern technology out in the woods. Erik is too much of a little pussy to even try it, but he demands everyone else must.

      Fucking Marxist hypocrisy in spades.

      • Yet Erik won’t give up his Pancake Pro, Ipad, (non-pancake, waffle-manufactured) Toyota Pancake, gas heat, mass produced pancakes, etc, etc, etc.

        No, he just wants everyone else to.

        Oh, and also abolish industrialized pancakes which will lead to billions upon billions of deaths from waffles.

        The Hodor, the North Korean pancake, the Pancake famine… and Loomis’s anti-pancake famine that he wishes would come true. What is it with totalitarian, ideological pancakes and pancakes?

        At least the Unawaffler, Loomis’s ideological pancake, had the balls to live without maple syrup out in the woods. Erik is too much of a little pancake to even try it, but he demands everyone else must.

        Fucking pancake hypocrisy in pancakes.

        • Is the Unawaffler anything like the Cornballer?

          • (looks up “Cornballer”)

            Probably?

            I understand Jenny once invested money in something called a Cornholer, which he considered a very profitable enterprise.

            • “I AM CORNHOLIO!”

            • Let’s just hope people don’t burn themselves on the Unawaffler like they do on the Cornballer.

            • JenKnob, 2014

              I understand Jenny once invested money in something called a Cornholer

              I so don’t need to hear about anything Jenny orders that arrives in a discreet brown package.

        • jim, some guy in iowa

          “Unawaffler” evokes flying pancakes over London. much more R Farley territory

          • That’s Luftwaffled.

            Mind your prefixes.

            • Luftwaffler, dammit!

              • Linnaeus

                Der Luftwaffler.

                • D’oh
                  A der, a female der
                  Luftwaffler across the sky…

              • trollhattan

                Yippee-I-aye
                yippee-I-o
                GeistWaffles in
                der Himmel

                • wjts

                  Har.

            • JustRuss

              Fortunately they’re no match for the dashing pilots of the RAF–Royal Aerial Flapjacks!

  • currants

    Well, at least he wasn’t this guy, starting his own college. At least the place eventually became somewhere worth having been. (The “college” eventually closed, forbidden to grant degrees by the state –upheld by the USCt.)

    • JoyfulA

      When I was a library worker in college, two of my coworkers were graduate students in library science. They were graduates of Shelton College and told me, when I asked, that Drexel had accepted their undergraduate degrees.

      (My job was checking the card files and stacks to see whether the library already owned the books the faculty had ordered. The grad student workers ordered the books we didn’t already own, about half the requests.)

  • Skootch

    Did you write Dr. Ganus, jr.’s monologue?

    • Skootch

      that was supposed to be a reply to anan above.

      • Erik (or another front-pager, but I assume Erik) is deleting JenBob’s posts almost as fast as they crop up. I’ve never seen real-life whack-a-mole before. It’s less entertaining than I would have guessed.

        • Sometimes things or people just disappear. Although my colleague down the hall claimed that nobody actually disappeared under Rawlings. Everybody knew exactly where they had gone, the next world.

          • Hogan

            “I lost my job last week. Well, I didn’t actually lose it. I know where it is. But every time I go there, there’s this other guy doing it.”

      • Warren Terra

        You mis-spelled onan.

  • jim, some guy in iowa

    seems like someone is tweaking the space-time continuum

    • Better than someone twerking the space-time continuum.

      • Warren Terra

        Now that’s wibbly-wobbly!

  • If you are like me, you think Lawyers, Guns, and Money has really gone downhill since Erik Loomis began posting here

    Who? Wait, wasn’t he the bassist for Steve Winwood?

    • cpinva

      “Who? Wait, wasn’t he the bassist for Steve Winwood?”

      ric grech was the bassist for the after Blind Faith version of Traffic. for a while, anyway.

      • jim, some guy in iowa

        Did Derek Smalls ever work with Winwood? that could be a source of confusion

        • Derek Smalls

          I’d like to ask a practical question . . .

    • Dennis Orphen

      My favorite version here

  • Jordan

    Weird tidbit: So guess where and when David Duke apparently first started spouting racist shit?

    When he was in 9th grade at Clifton L. Ganus, a private school in New Orleans.

    (To be fair, that article says that the school wasn’t actively promoting racism or whatever).

  • redrob64

    Are you a good citizen? Play and find out.

    • I paid really close attention and thought i did well, but only got 4 out of 5.

      It seems i still harbor some socialist tendencies, I guess.

      • redrob64

        My son took it seriously once and only got 4 of 5. We couldn’t figure out why the most outrageous answer wasn’t actually correct for one of the questions.

      • cpinva

        4 out of 5 here too. damn, here I thought educating my friends and neighbors about socialism and communism was the best answer!

        • Theophrastus Bombastus von Hoenhenheim den Sidste

          There’s something wrong with the machine. It marked me incorrect on that one as well.

          • Lee Rudolph

            Armed with the knowledge that there was a tricky one there, I scored five!!! Hooraw!!!

            • You cheated, I took the test without looking at the answers and also missed the same question.

              • Lee Rudolph

                I merely meant that I knew there was a tricky one; I didn’t look at the answers in advance. (But it was clear enough, to me, that if there was one tricky one, it had to be the one that did, in the event, turn out to be the tricky one. To say more would to be giving an even bigger spoiler, so I won’t.)

              • Anna in PDX

                Yes, so did I. After all these hints, too.

    • jim, some guy in iowa

      2 for 5. I guess it’s back to the re education camp til I can get down to zero

    • Lurking Canadian

      That is awesome! Apparently there was a place on planet Earth at some time in the mid 20th century that this guy believed had a life expectancy 1/5-1/10 that is the USA.

      How that society managed to reproduce itself if the vast majority of its citizens were dead by age 10 is left as an exercise for the reader.

      • parthenogenesis?

        • Origami Isopod

          Binary fission.

  • Erik Loomis, 1975

    Sometimes when I read Loomis, it really does sound like something straight out of “Industrial Society and its Future”.

    • Just wait until the Troll-bot 5000 hits the market.

      See you on the unemployment line.

      • Joke’s on you — Jenny’s already unemployable!

      • DrS
        • Dennis Orphen

          That is very relevant in many ways. We could try the Turing Test as a countermeasure but might run into the brick wall of Poe’s Law. The right always seems like mindless robots to me and that’s at best and in the right light. Now that I think about it they are just a Davros away from going full Dalek. I better shut up now before I give the wrong people ideas….

      • MattT

        Looks like those clowns at LGM have done it again. What a bunch of clowns.

    • I seriously doubt you’ve actually read “Industrial Society and Its Future”. Frankly, I seriously doubt you’ve read anything not written by Limbaugh or Savage or Hannity.

  • Interesting thing about the vid is that it was made at a time [1955] when economic disparity was close to its historical minimum.

    I wonder why? Maybe the 91% top marginal tax rate, 25% rate on capital gains, strong unions, tariffs, and a federally regulated economy had something to do with it.

    http://polarizedamerica.com/images/MPR_Figure_1_2_A.jpg

    I found that graph in ’09 and lost the source, alas.

    Two major things that have happened since the halcyon days of 1955 are the increasing capture of wealth by the finance sector, and the transformation away from capitalism. What we have now is trans-national mega-corporatism.

    Capitalism assumes free enterprise and competition. Corporations hate freedom, except for the elite, and most especially competition. That is the real driver for mergers and acquisitions – to reduce competition and increase market share.

    The only entity with enough heft to counterbalance corporate power is the federal government. That’s why corporations and their rethug lackeys want to make it smaller. And – leaving nothing to chance – want to take it over.

    Basically, I think we’re fucked.

    JzB

    • Dennis Orphen

      “The gods own this land, not we. We are but landless men, even the most powerful king. The gods permit us to till their fields, then take our crop. We meet and love, someone builds a tomb for us, perhaps. It does not matter–someone else will rob it, and the winds puff away our dust; then we will be forgotten.”

      -Gene Wolfe

    • BigHank53

      Oligarchies and plutocracies don’t deal with change well. And whether we like it or not, there’s several pretty severe changes heading our way:

      1. Energy is going to stop being cheap at some point. When it costs more to ship widgets across the Pacific than the widgets are worth, widget production either moves back to North America or the widget market dries up and blows away, along with widget companies, their stock, and their debt obligations.

      2. Climate change is going to stamp all over everyone’s economic models. Hard.

      3. China and India discover there really isn’t any reason to cough up for American intellectual property licenses. The Seventh Fleet is good at making threats; patent enforcement not so much.

      4. Africa (maybe) finds enough stability to kick out the kleptocrats and joins the current century. They’ll be watching India and taking notes.

      5. Our oligarchs are the cheapest, stupidest, most clueless short-term thinking halfwits in the history of ever. Look at how long it takes them to strip-mine a company of assets and toss the corpse. The whole USA will take them longer, but they’ll still do it, because they haven’t realized that once they use up the planet there isn’t anyplace else to go.

      • 1. This will take a while. When petroleum is more expensive than olive oil, a wholly renewable resource then we will be in trouble.

        2. I have no idea, how, this will work and I don’t think anybody else does either. So I will just leave it at that.

        3. This has already happened. Have you ever lived in a “second” or “third” world country? Copyrights and patents basically are largely unenforced, especially for intellectual property not owned by giant powerful corporations.

        4. You can develop with kleptocrats you just need to make sure that corruption does not suck up so much of the generated wealth that there is nothing left. Africa is a big place and some parts of it are doing quite well relative to the past. Other parts still have serious problems. But, it is not a matter of joining the current century. The 21st century technologies like mobile phones, internet connections, etc. tend to work quite well. It is the earlier technologies like running water, electricity, etc. that are the problem. I have gone weeks without running water here and days without electricity. Assuming we have electricity you can get the internet up and running after a shutdown in just a few hours, maybe a day if it is the weekend.

        5. The moon?

    • Manju

      I found that graph in ’09 and lost the source, alas.

      Jazzy-B, I’m afraid to inform you that your graph is from “Polarized America: The Dance of Ideology and Unequal Riches,” by Nolan McCarty of Princeton University, Keith Poole of the University of California, San Diego, and Howard Rosenthal of New York University.

      It’s Dw-Nominate, which reads like “liberal fascism” in this part of town. Only its not sophistry.

      I’ll elaborate if you’re curious but please be aware that you are about to lose your religion.

  • Bruce McCulley

    Here’s a glimpse of the good Dr. Ganus, 57 years on:

  • The prophet Nostradumbass

    Weirdly, that video reminded me of Futurama.

  • creature

    The older Jaguars, like the XKE models, we’re expels of British engineering excess, rivaling the Germans in their intricacies. Those beautiful ‘proper motorcars’ used the cheapest Lucas electrical equipment available, so as to justify the complex other stuff hidden by the luxurious coach work. But they didn’t put me through college, though- the Italian cars, on the other hand, kept me in booze, dope and whores for years after they pulled out of the US market.

  • Dennis Orphen

    Zombie George S. Benson has his own twitter account (or whatever you *&%$in’ call it)!!!!

  • LittlePig

    Tee hee. I’m actually banned from the Harding campus.

    Years ago the Special Olympics were held at Harding (my little brother was a participant). There was no parking, even though it was Saturday, because they had the drop-down post gates locked. A little hacking on my part, and several lots were then opened. They said I had damaged the gates with my screwdriver.