February 11, 2016

Prosperity's Dark Side

*Rant Warning*

Indoor plumbing and the washing machine may have heralded a longer, happier and healthier life for all mankind, but these labor saving advances come at a price - detachment.

We tend to think of youth arriving in waves by generation, every twenty years or so. In reality, the waves are five times as frequent - every four years another class of know-nothings matriculates from the academy. So while the naïve waifs who elected President Obama may now actually, for the most part, recognize their error, two more waves have washed over top of them. And since nothing has been done to correct their curricula, the tide of egalitarian socialism is on the rise, making each successive wave that much stronger than before.

Witness the rise of Senator Socialist, the Independent-In-Name-Only from Vermont, who offers nearly everything as reward for one's vote, deftly stopping short of promising to outlaw war and neckties and long pants. One wonders how his followers might change their thoughts and attitudes and priorities if they had to wash their own clothes, by the river, by hand. Or if they had to defend their village from armed invasion by hungry hoardes from beyond the horizon.

I'm for making the viewing of History Channel's 'Vikings' a mandatory precondition for voter registration. All four seasons. The fourth of which, begins a week from tonight.

(Either that or they have to charge their iPhone with a bicycle generator for a month or so.)

Dem2016 Primary Don't Demand the Unearned Egalitarian Socialism Hail, hail, fire and snow... Rant Television Posted by JohnGalt at February 11, 2016 3:13 PM

His demographic is too big to blame the Youts of the country. I believe this is a lot of "I'm a Democrat and I do not support nor trust, nor believe in the other Democrat. And hell no, I'm not voting for that Republican field" at least not in the primaries.

Posted by: Terri at February 11, 2016 3:56 PM

To Terri's point, I surely know a lot of soi disant grownups who #feelinTheBern.

Sec. Clinton is an historically bad candidate, that surely does not help. But the Democratic contingent on my Facebook feed is virtually all Bernie. If Sec. Clinton has supporters, they're afraid to pipe up.

And, as astonishes me ever four years, these are adults with mortgages and jobs and kids and bills. Not college students (though the college students I know all like him too).

I will agree fulsomely with jg that the threads of discontent are sewn into the silk lining of prosperity. Food, warmth, shelter, and 4GLTE connectivity are taken completely for granted as it they fell from the sky. What for we must word and compete?

Posted by: jk at February 11, 2016 4:48 PM

I didn't intend to imply that only the young support Bernie. Plenty of the earlier waves take a long time to grow up and learn personal responsibility, or never do. I was highlighting the collectivist training our children receive in college, and how prosperity enables it.

Peggy Noonan writes today in her version of the two-party full scale revolt story I posted below, that it is understandable that America's yutes would fall in line behind comrade Sanders:

In the young his support is understandable: They have never been taught anything good about capitalism and in their lifetimes have seen it do nothing — nothing — to protect its own reputation.

It is middle-aged Sanders supporters who are more interesting. They know what they're turning their backs on. They know they're throwing in the towel. My guess is they're thinking something like: Don't aim for great now, aim for safe. Terrorism, a world turning upside down, my kids won’t have it better—let's just try to be safe, more communal.

Posted by: johngalt at February 12, 2016 11:48 AM

Looking desperately for a meme I saw this morning -- I think it is telling. Sen. Sanders is pictured and the text (from memory) is: "I'm not offering 'Free stuff' I'm saying we give the people what they have already paid for."

Maybe that is sadder still, but that is truly what most of the #BernFeelers believe. A beloved relative told me that, having taught in public schools for 20 years he is clearly "owed" a pension and heath insurance for life. I was shocked, but compared to the Bernie crowd, that's a well funded 401K.

Posted by: jk at February 12, 2016 1:04 PM

"Already paid for? Certainly. May I see your receipt?"

Posted by: johngalt at February 12, 2016 3:19 PM

Hahahahaha -- now I have to try twice as hard to find it so I can steal your joke.

Posted by: jk at February 12, 2016 4:01 PM

Seriously! I hope you do.

Is he/she suggesting that government is some kind of "subscription shopping service?" Pay a nominal monthly fee and you can come in and pick up whatever you want or need whenever you want? I hear they're doing that in Caracas right now.

Here's how "paying for" something works:

1) Look at price tag.
2) It's worth it, here's my money, take it away.
3) It's not worth it, negotiate or shop around at competitors.
4) Find the lowest price is higher than you are willing to pay, decide to pay it after all, here's my money, take it away.
5) Live. Without. It.

Posted by: johngalt at February 12, 2016 5:17 PM


According to this, youts are the problem after all.

It is safe to say that billions of dollars have been spent over the past two decades promoting and educating the public on the benefits of capitalism and free markets. There are publishing imprints, media companies and new conservative news sites everywhere. Yet, something has gone horribly wrong.
Posted by: johngalt at February 12, 2016 5:42 PM

A problem. The problem?

I think the meme was posted by my biological brother -- perhaps just "liked" because it does not show in his feed. I like your quaint and classical concept of purchase as well. But the word we're looking for is "entitled."

They flipped burgers in high school and took unglamorous jobs out of school. Had the greedy capitalist bastards paid them what they were worth and not cheated them, they would all have nice cars and live in mansions.

Posted by: jk at February 12, 2016 6:02 PM

From paragraph 2: "No other age or ethnic demographic preferred socialism over capitalism."

Other than Millennials, that is.

Now re-read the excerpt two comments previous, followed by nb's excellent 'Socialist Schooling' post.

The problem. Worse than ISIS.

Posted by: johngalt at February 12, 2016 6:17 PM | What do you think? [10]