Sometime ago I started talking about the problem with the publishers being that they were drinking their own ink. I.e. they make up stuff, put it on paper, and then piously believe it, as though it were a fact.
They tell themselves the bestsellers – you know, the ones they actually give publicity and support to and to whom they pay high advances – support their houses, and next thing you know, they’re believing it, and getting rid of midlisters left and right and becoming puzzled when the bottom line doesn’t improve. That’s because – duh – what they’re doing is roughly the equivalent of a steak restaurant deciding they make most of their money on the desserts and the appetizers, which are, of course, the highest priced in relation to cost on the menu. Therefore, they’re now going to serve only appetizers and desserts…
The problem goes way deeper than publishers, though – we have a whole slew of people drinking their own ink, starting with our own government. (Possibly because our government, our churches, our arts, our media, all draw for leadership from a pool of people who know each other, run in the same circles and were taught the same “truths” by the same mentors.)
Take that amazing froth of wishful thinking called the State of the Union address – did any thought go into what the speech writers wrote? No? I think not.
There is for instance the wonderful idea that we can’t get out of this hole by cutting expenditures. REALLY? REALLY? So, let me see, if my family is spending 2000 a month, while making 1500, cutting expenditures is not the way to go. We shouldn’t examine our food budget, cut back on entertainment or perhaps move to a smaller place. No way no how, because cutting is not how you get out of a financial hole. No, golly-me. We’re supposed to get a student loan and take a course in something the government assures us will pay off. AND we’re supposed to go out to eat more. And move to a bigger place. And buy a newer car. And then we’ll be…
What? I don’t know. And neither do these people, because they’ve never balanced a checkbook.
The Aristos don’t have to balance anything. There’s always someone willing to finance them while using them as stalking horses. After all they talk so purty, and they say all the right things – the things that will allow those using them to get a greater grasp on power over the lives of everyone else.
Or take the minimum wage nonsense. What kind of insane idiot, with the crisis of unemployment we have would want to RAISE minimum wage? I mean, both the man reading these words off the teleprompter and the idiots who wrote them for him to read have presumably enough intelligence to stand upright and speak at the same time. So it shouldn’t be possible for them to NOT understand that a wage is something paid in exchange for a service. It is therefore tied to the value of that service. The idea of legislating it at ALL is insane, and leads to people who can’t afford to pay it hiring illegals or simply not growing their business past the one man stage – because, children, economics is a science. You can’t simply legislate wages, any more than you can legislate rain. BUT on top of that the idea of in a recession wanting to tie the minimum wage to the cost of living is so astonishingly stupid that– That I run out of words.
But the Aristos don’t know that. The Aristos never had a minimum wage job, and they never had to climb out of it by acquiring skills that made them worth more. The ARISTOS were born with the right connections, and mouthed the right platitudes, and lo and behold, the money tree was shaken into their lap. This means they have clue zero where money comes from, and they think that the only reason everyone DOESN’T make a bazillion dollars an hour is that private employers are greedy and need the government to beat them into generosity.
What that kind of inanity – there is a reason wage and price controls only bring poverty and collapse everywhere they’re tried – will do to the economy is anybody’s guess, but I can tell you what it will do to my kids’ generation: it will eat their future.
I was talking to my son the other day and he said “Everyone in my generation has flat given up. The height of our ambition is to someday have a job that actually allows us to live independently. There’s no grand dreams for us.” It was the saddest thing I’d ever heard, and even this modest ambition was just made more difficult.
But the Aristos don’t know that. Their own children’s nests are feathered with the spoils of their parents’ career. They have no idea what they’re doing to normal people out there.
And the Aristos are different. They drink their own ink in a different way. They think that we are heading into a future without jobs because our automation and tech is getting that cool.
Of course, those of you who like me were semi conscious (teens) during the Carter years remember the exact same thing from then. It was all “We can’t solve unemployment, because we’re that much more efficient that in the future there are no jobs.” Then came Reagan.
But the Aristos don’t remember this, because part of the requirement of being a courtier is to convince themselves Carter was wonderful. And that the current unemployment is due to our precipitous ascent to Earthly paradise.
This is why they’re not worried about debt. See, any day now, the robots will learn to spin straw into gold… Or so the Aristos believe.
And in this future where we all lie under the trees, they want to thin human population, so they’re not worried about people not reproducing. And everyone who remains, will live off the benevolence of the state.
No, seriously – the latest place I read this was a centrist economist, who was repeating this utter nonsense without irony. Yep, unemployment will be high forever because our machines are that efficient.
I bet you – gold, because money doesn’t count, one ounce – that if we pull out of this tail spin, in twenty years anyone reading this bullhockey will split his sides laughing “their technology was so advanced they thought, that they didn’t have enough jobs to go around, they thought.”
But the Aristos believe the ink they spill as though it were gospel. Because it’s written, and it sounds good, and in their sheltered, soft lives, being able to speak well and write well is THE most prized ability. It shapes reality. Well, it shapes reality as far as they are concerned, because they say these things and money falls on their lap, and praise is heaped on their heads.
And worse, now, when the best jobs that can be got are on paper 29 hours, (because to be 40 would incur the massive expense of Obama care and take the employer under) but in fact require you to work 60, with unpaid overtime because “well, you must finish the project” they’re going to look at the ink on paper and say “Wow, most people are working under thirty hours, but productivity is up. It really is the end of jobs.”
Because the Aristos are like children, who believe their own fairytales and they, unlike the rest of us never held a job that was much shorter on paper than in reality.
In fact, we should pity the Aristos. Like some Eastern royalty, they live isolated and never see outside their palaces.
This is fine, while the palace endures. But their own actions are fast bringing the palaces down. They don’t understand economics. And the main thing they don’t understand is that other countries have been allowed to do very stupid things, because the US was there to rescue them.
We don’t have a US to rescue us.
What can’t go on won’t. The Aristos are on a course to meet the mud at speed.
Holla, ye pamper’d jades of Asia! What, can ye draw but twenty miles a-day?
UPDATE: Welcome Instapundit readers, and as always thank you Glenn for the link. And if you’re new here, consider hitting the links on the books on the sidebar and/or pre-ordering A Few Good Men from Amazon. (And yes, to those who invited me to guest blog — or who wish to — that WILL resume tomorrow. The health thing is finally settling down.)
*The Mad Genius Club Post is up.*