Sweet Home Venezuela

News brings word that things in Venezuela, over the last few weeks, have gotten as ugly as a West Virginia tailgate. Instead of people throwing bags of urine at one another, which is the custom in Morgantown, the locals are throwing “poop bombs” at the police. In the age of fake news, this could be a totally made up story, but it is not implausible. For some reason, flinging crap at people is something that comes naturally to people. I guess it is the ultimate sign of disrespect. Or, maybe some people just like throwing poop.

Searching the archive, I see I have never written a post about Venezuela and I have mentioned the place just eight times in three years. Given that I have cranked out 1.4 million words in three years, it is same to assume that Venezuela does not rank very high on my list of interests. The one interesting thing about the place, at least to me, is they have some of the most dangerous prisons on earth. Each prison is a self-regulating island, where the prisoners run everything inside, and the guards make sure they stay inside.

For a while, American libertarians tried hard to make Hugo Cavez a bogeyman worth our attention and Venezuela an example of what happens when you anger the god’s of Von Mises. Chavez tried hard to do his part, but the day of the macho socialist dictator has past, at least for American elites. The ideal leader for the managerial elite is the childless powerskirt or the sexually ambiguous fop. Chavez just reminded the swells of the guy that cuts their grass. It’s hard to make a bogeyman out of Pablo the lawn guy.

Chavez was a ridiculous gasbag, for sure, but Venezuela is not exactly Wellesley Massachusetts either. When Chavez came to power, the per capita GDP was roughly $5,000. The average IQ is 84, which is in the same band as most Arab countries. There’s not a lot of human capital, but they have oil that is easy to access. By the time Chavez shuffled off this mortal coil, per capita GDP was over $12,000. How much of that made it to the people is another story. In all probability, the oil profits were stolen.

This is a familiar pattern in low-IQ countries. The relatively small cohort of smart people have no illusions about their ability to elevate their people. In fact, they are usually taught this from birth. Instead of making their country better, they make their own lives better by exploiting the mass of stupid people around them. The per capita GDP of Equatorial Guinea is the same as Venezuela, but the people live like cavemen, while the Esanguii clan of my good friend Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo live like royalty.

The point is that the ceiling for places like Venezuela is not very high, relative to the West and their capacity for honest government is also limited. Strangely, countries like Venezuela are not made better by vast natural wealth. Instead they are made worse because they have something worth stealing and something worth stealing is worth killing for too. The result is the people running the place will kill as many people as possible to maintain control of the nation’s oil wealth.

It’s not the policies or institutions. It’s the people in charge of the place. It’s not that they are misguided or in error. They know exactly what they are doing. They are big fish and they are doing what big fish always do and that’s eat the small fish, which happen to be the population of low-IQ Mestizos. The fact that they are willing to starve their own people tells you they are not the sort of guys worried about the nuances of tax policy. They are hard men running a rough country the hard way.

The other thing worth mentioning is Venezuelans are not campus snowflakes. The murder rate is twice that of our worst cities. It’s hard to know the exact figures. The government is so corrupt, no one can trust their numbers. Even so, it is one of the most dangerous countries on earth. It is safe to assume that the people are willing to employ rough justice, but somehow they are unable to do anything about their government. There are protests and minor street rebellions, but not at a level high enough to destabilize the government.

Maybe things just need to get a bit worse before the people throw over their rulers or maybe the people in charge have such an edge that the people can never throw over their rulers. Perhaps we have reached a point where technology has allowed even a wildly corrupt ruling class to maintain power in the face of popular unrest. They can use spies, mass media propaganda and control of commerce to keep a lid on things. We may have reached a point where revolution is impossible, even in a craphole like Venezuela.

The news tells us that Venezuelans are eating zoo animals. Again, it could be made up, but there is no doubt there are serious food shortages. If a relatively violent people are eating their pets, yet unwilling to turn on the local officials, what are the odds that the pampered pussies of Western nations will push back against their rulers? Our superiors are smarter and better able to keep us fat, dumb and happy. The lesson of Venezuela is that our rulers can probably get away with a hell of a lot more, if they want.

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Member

Flinging poop seems to be a part of our primate heritage. It will have to do until you evolve enough to invent the hand grenade.

Joey Junger
Guest
It happens a lot in prison. They call it “gassing” (which is usually a mixture of feces and urine cultivated by prisoners and fermented, then thrown into the face of prison staff). I saw a documentary on the Long Kesh prison riots (the Irish hunger strikes) and Bobby Sands had pretty much covered his cell walls in feces; it’s a sign of a totally disordered, broken down mind in civilized people who’ve been isolated for too long. If it comes naturally to you and not as a result of extended captivity (as it apparently does to these protesters), then it… Read more »
Ganderson
Guest

Yet another Bobby Sands reference. Three in one week?

Joey Junger
Guest

What were the first two? And are you keeping track, and if so…why? Did you lose someone in the Troubles? Is it a subject I should be treading lightly around?

Mike
Guest

Sands shouldn’t be honored.

Member

He was always starving for attention.

TomA
Guest

I doubt that much will change until they escalate to explosive diarrhea.

Member

Turn your back and fire a Parthian sh!t.

Giovanni Dannato
Guest
You answer your own question. They are low IQ and therefore unable to resist effectively until they are overwhelmingly desperate. This standard does not equate to higher IQ cohorts, who will shiv you in the liver when you least expect it once they realize they’re being stiffed, even if they already live far above 3rd world standards. Proles have disorganized revolts when they get hungry. A disgruntled upper middle class starts a revolution. It’s when you have that emergency session to raise funding in parliament or estates-general when you really have to worry. The guys who now rule Venezuela don’t… Read more »
Tim Newman
Guest

A disgruntled upper middle class starts a revolution.

Yes this, in spades. It is never the peasants, but the upper middle classes.

Garr
Guest
Yes — I recall Dutch explaining in some detail here, and plausibly, how he and his West Virginian friends would defeat mech-suited stormtroopers. By the way — remember those stories about how the average Venezuelan had lost 19 pounds? But the accompanying photos of rioters didn’t support that claim at all — they looked about as healthy as the residents of my Brooklyn neighborhood. So maybe it’s not the rioters who are really suffering? But that would indicate that the rioters aren’t the suffering multitude. The Iranian mass-protests were crushed a few years ago — those protesters were middle-class kids,… Read more »
Dutch
Guest
Not me. I’m Californian (living in the belly of the beast, I am). Speaking of Iranians, an Iranian friend in college, back in ’79, described his going home and protesting as the Shah was going down. They would march in the streets against the regime, until such time as the thugs armed with bats sent out by the Shah would turn up, at which point they would switch sides until the thugs moved on. Then they would switch back. Sort of a combination of a higher IQ survival skillset, combined with an upper middle class uprising, as previously discussed.
Garr
Guest

Oh, sorry. Doug, maybe. It was only the “D” that stuck in my mind, I guess.

Member

You guys are talking at cross purposes about different events.

Dutch
Guest

Different events, same culture. The Iranian kids are opportunistic about speaking up when they can get away with it. Things went sideways during their protests a few years ago, so they blended back into society until such time as another opportunity arises. The Persians seem to be rather clever people to me.

Member

The Iranian mass-protests were just one more (failed) example of the color revolutions that the West’s elites – primarily Soros of course, have done so much damage with in the past 20 odd years.

If all the signs are preprinted in English it’s called a clue.

El Bucho
Guest

Part of the issue there, as well as in Puerto Rico, is that the government have prepared themselves for this situation. In PR happened in the early 1940’s, Venezuela just did it recently: confiscate all personal guns and make it extremely difficult to possess one. That, my friends, is the difference here. You may have chaos in cities like NYC or LA, however, you will not see something like that in the middle of WVA. When the time comes, it will be ugly.

guest
Guest
Exactly. And apropos to Zman’s casual observation that ” If a relatively violent people are eating their pets, yet unwilling to turn on the local officials, what are the odds that the pampered pussies of Western nations will push back against their rulers? Our superiors are smarter and better able to keep us fat, dumb and happy. The lesson of Venezuela is that our rulers can probably get away with a hell of a lot more, if they want.” I doubt it. There are way too many people with way too many guns here. Sure, a lot of people will… Read more »
Drake
Guest

‘Ol Remus had a great post (now taken down) on what a Middle Class revolt would look like (ugly and brutal). Maybe why the Left hates the Middle Class so much.

http://falfn.com/CrusaderRabbit/?p=23014

Doug
Guest

The always interesting Charles Hughes Smith wrote something along the lines of Ol Remus the other day. Though he couched it in milder terms barely hinting at the potential for underlying violent rebellion of the middle class, but exemplifying the reasons and perils of revolution:
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-05-11/mao-american-middle-class-whats-source-political-power

TomA
Guest

“who will shiv you in the liver when you least expect it ”

What a great line! Perfect clarity, nothing ambiguous about it, directly to the point.

Member

Unless Venezuela is filled with people substantially different from the countries around it this explanation isn’t that satisfying. It’s in the news because it’s problems are bad even for South America’s standards.

Drake
Guest

What makes Venezuela substantially different from the countries around it is the oil, not the people.

Member

Colombia next door also has significant oil reserves as do other Douth American countries. So it’s not substantially different. Accepting the low IQ is an explanation it only leads to the question of what decisions low IQ people make that caused their entire economy to collapse that smart people don’t make.

Drake
Guest

I was agreeing with Z’s point that part of the problem with Venezuela is that they had something worth stealing – a well-developed oil industry. There is a big difference between “reserves” and actual oil revenue.

SamlAdams
Guest
And the problem is the Venezuelan crude is high sulfur “sour” oil that requires specialized extraction equipment and refinery capacity–and a very high maintenance expense. The Chavistas decided to do away with the engineers and capex, hence it is all falling apart and product is dropping like a rock. Funny thing about Venezuela–it’s a lather-rinse-repeat kind of place. My old man was a developer in South Florida and one of their mainstay businesses in the 70s/80s was Venezuelan flight capital. Families used to show up and buy an entire floor of condo units in Miami–for cash. They rented them and… Read more »
Dutch
Guest

Maybe all places are “lather-rinse-repeat”, but some have a much longer cycle than others. The old “does history repeat or are we actually getting somewhere?” argument. Guess I fall on the “history repeats” side of things.

White hat
Guest

I have noticed a lot of ordinary people moving into Columbia and other South American countries because THEY become the elite class. As a location on the planet South America is beautiful.

LetsPlay
Member

Yep, and California is a damn beautiful place too! But I hate living there now for all the nitwits who run the place and are driving it into the ground. I left and haven’t looked back.

So all depends on what you want along with your cup ‘o tea. Yes, South American is beautiful from a landscape perspective but with low IQ’s and low progress and poverty and crime and corruption, well, kinda takes the sheen off the bloom. Much like the US is becoming also.

Member

The way most individuals’ traits develop is part nature and part nurture. Just pointing this out again to the people who are fixated with IQ.

karl hungus
Guest

um, like you?

Member

There are so many things that people treat as gospel that need to be questioned. Climate change is one of them. So is carbon dating and whether or not the concept of IQ captures all facets of intelligence or not.

Karl Hungus
Guest

your use of the word “all” is a tell

Member

It’s true. A lot of capable kids are held back from higher education/status by circumstance beyond their control. Look at the Dems or UK Labour. Good working class people are being politically excluded by middle-class scum. Then they wonder why they can’t get us to vote for them….

Dutch
Guest

Nature and nurture. Not much argument there. But the prevailing culture calls it all nurture (and manipulates that nurturing to its own ends) and ignores nature entirely. In their world, IQ differences don’t exist.

LetsPlay
Member

You are right Dutch. In the Left’s world, everyone is equal and should be made/given equal everything. Just a small matter of programming. Maybe you software guys remember that one, a SMOP. Yeah, that’s the ticket. Human beings … just a little behavior modification … a little socialist nudge here and there and everything will be fine and dandy all around! Yeah, imagine!

Nulle Terre Sans Seigneur
Guest
> Strangely, countries like Venezuela are not made better by vast natural > wealth. Instead they are made worse because they have something > worth stealing and something worth stealing is worth killing for too. The > result is the people running the place will kill as many people as possible > to maintain control of the nation’s oil wealth. This is the so-called “resource curse.” As to your comment on big fish preying on small fish (low-IQ mestizos) and saying it’s people not policies, that seems like a codetermined variable: people enacting bad policies. But the policies would still… Read more »
Joey Junger
Guest
The best template for how to be a tinpot dictator and make it last for as long as possible was probably Ghadafi. He never really nationalized Libyan oil; he kept some for his country and sold the rest to wildcats willing to outbid the seven sisters, and used some of that money and assorted kickbacks to make life bearable for those loyal to him. This way, he got to look like he was giving the West (and Israel) the finger, while still doing enough business with the West to keep us from raining fire on him (until Hilligula the Cackling,… Read more »
Drake
Guest

Taking down Ghadafi has to be the single dumbest foreign policy move in my lifetime. Some (Iran and Afghanistan) may have been more costly in the long run, but none had results so predictably bad.

Dutch
Guest

We decide to publicly take out the only guy who decided to give up his nuclear weapons quest, under Western pressure. Do I need to go any further? Real smart move there, guys.

LetsPlay
Member

Do we really know that he gave up anything? How do we know? Who said so? That is one story I never believed and is probably why so much CIA and State Dept. chaos resulted from his downfall.

Dutch
Guest

Doesn’t matter. If the other tinpot loonies working on nukes believe that Ghadafi was taken out by us only after giving up his nukes, then the others will have learned their lesson well, and whether or not Ghadafi was working on any nukes or gave anything up is irrelevant.

LetsPlay
Member

I think you meant Iraq and not Iran, unless you were thinking of The Shah, and not Saddam Hussein. But both qualify in my book to matching your description for stupid.

karl hungus
Guest

i miss mohmar. he had style so lacking in most of his type. those east german lady body guards were pure cinema. sigh, not a good ending though, with a sword up your ass.

Dutch
Guest

Badass Robert Palmer video girls indeed.

Alzaebo
Guest

Hillary and co. pulled the same play in the 90’s Balkan Spring.

james wilson
Guest

Let it not be said that this is democracy gone wrong.

Krass92
Guest

” Instead of making their country better, they make their own lives better by exploiting the mass of stupid people around them”

Sounds like Russian elites, unfortunately.

J-Dawg
Guest

Sounds like American elites.

karl hungus
Guest

sounds like elites

LetsPlay
Member

Yes, elites everywhere!

Doug
Guest

I’m with you guys.
Is there any fundamental differences between “our” own dear sweet elites and Venezuala’s?
Except for lot of us American’s are armed to the teeth, and “our” elites are cognizant of the difference, there fore tread more carefully and are that much more cunning in how the go about the same essential corruption?

Krass92
Guest

“Instead of making their country better, they make their own lives better by exploiting the mass of stupid people around them”

Sounds like Russian elites, unfortunately.

Ron
Guest
Your grim but accurate essay confirms my deepest fears—Mankind has devolved to the point were fecal matter matters, and fascinates us to no end that which comes from our rear ends. We should have seen this coming decades ago, with the infamous subsidized sponsored art made from body waste and displayed in a prestigious NY art museum. What shocked us then now is embraced and celebrated as the true essence of progressive mankind turning regressive. We used to build beautiful cathedrals to raise our eyes towards heaven. Now our view looks downward to porcelain bowls to admire the contents therein.… Read more »
Member

“The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.”

Garr
Guest

“… while the worst are full of [fecal matter]”?

karl hungus
Guest

why not take solace from the cathedrals already built? maybe even visit one.

Dutch
Guest
Speaking of fecal matters, I recall from the early ’70s that the San Diego Zoo had a gorilla enclosure that was open and elevated, relative to the area populated by the human visitors. The apes loved to fling their poo at the humans. They would pace back and forth with it, watching the people shout and react. Eventually, the poo would be flung, a cry would go up, and someone would get shat upon. The scene was quite popular with the visitors. Always struck me as a version of the Roman circus, along with something about the special cherished place… Read more »
LetsPlay
Member

We need to crack some skulls with some tainted porcelain bowls!

Tim Newman
Guest
It’s not the policies or institutions. It’s the people in charge of the place. It’s not that they are misguided or in error. They know exactly what they are doing. They are big fish and they are doing what big fish always do and that’s eat the small fish, which happen to be the population of low-IQ Mestizos. Permit me, if I may, to quote from a post I wrote at the end of my 3-year assignment in Nigeria: “I didn’t see a shred of difference between the top politicians, down through the officials in the national authorities, through the… Read more »
Dutch
Guest
My Malian brother-in-law has been trying to run businesses in Africa for many years now. Evaporative cooling, solar power generation and the like. The government encourages such enterprise with huge tax breaks. On the flip side, every business license issuer, inspector, shipper, and other petty official requires constant small payoffs. The inventory and equipment must be locked up and under guard at all times, and the guards themselves quietly expect constant small monetary supplements as well. It is how the system works. The sum total of all the constant small cash expenditures just happens to soak up essentially all the… Read more »
Al from da Nort
Guest

Another reason why there is no revolution in Venezuela is Miami. IOW, local elite, now out of power, who might otherwise have put themselves at the head of an opposition movement all have houses and money there financed by the $$$ they’d siphoned off (or earned). So no elite with their backs to the wall = no revolt.

Tim Newman
Guest

Yes, also worth mentioning that the white collar workers who got fired from PDVSA were all snapped up and now live abroad.

karl hungus
Guest

wouldn’t any insurection technically be a counter-revolution? that bolivar palaver and so forth.

Member
There was a banned book in the Philippines about corruption in the Marcos regime entitled Some Are Smarter Than Others. Your take on Venezuelan leadership reminded me of this. When reading the book one gets the idea that they were anything but smart. Getting into power takes a certain amount of savvy but keeping it merely requires ruthlessness. When the “coup” was starting in Turkey, I immediately told those around me that Erdogan had stolen a page out of Marcos’ playbook. I felt sorry for the poor saps that went along with it. Even some of the guys who were… Read more »
karl hungus
Guest

i think someone made a movie about that: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0042352/plotsummary?ref_=tt_ov_pl

Member

Reality is actually more surreal. I still can’t believe I was talking to those guys.

karl hungus
Guest

what took you there?

Member
The guy was a distant relative. No one had given me any heads up about him. Like some deep family secret. And no one ever talked about what he did or how he got where he was, except his friends when they were drunk, and then I had trouble believing what I was hearing. I had to piece everything together from conversations and events I saw and found out everything his drunk buddies had said was only the tip of the iceberg. The story I told might seem pointless to a lot of people, but the point is that life… Read more »
praxis
Guest

Wow I lived in Morgantown for 25 years and its news to me about the local custom you mentioned.

scrivener3
Guest

Its not genetic determinism: people in low IQ countries are destined for bad lives. Ideas matter. The people of North Korea are very similar to the people of South Korea but the latter live lives of misery. The people of East Germany are very similar to the people of West Germany.

karl hungus
Guest

i see what you did there 🙂 we are not Venezuela…yet. the best thing any bigger country could do, is take over the oil fields and run them properly. then give everyone an allowance.

the alternative of course is to kill off half the peasants, once in awhile as they are un-necessary to your plans.

Oldfart
Guest

That’s “kinda” what is done in Alaska. A lot of the oil is being pumped from State (Alaskan) land, so the royalties are invested and the profit from those are distributed to the people.

Doug
Guest

if you haven’t caught on Karl, it sure looks like killing off half those peasants is taking shape in the early forms of cultural marxist sponsored genocide against white western men of the west.
They are making a big mistake if you ask me. Most men of the west are the most tolerant people until we aren’t, then we become the most fierce warriors imaginable that don’t stop till we do.

Bill Jo ez
Guest

Alternately we could just leave them alone.

Timbotoo
Guest
Hell Z, that’s the most depressing take on Venezuela I’ve seen in some time. In the glory days of the 4th Republic (pre Chavez) the country was noted for having the largest percentage middle class in Latin America. In fact, when Chavez was elected and cosying up to Fidel, any spoken concern was poopooed and the speaker informed that “this wasn’t Cuba or 1960”. Well, guess what? The middle class has now almost vanished, relocated to Florida and parts yonder. Cubans are installed in all the institutions and Maduro takes his orders from Raul. I lived for 15 years in… Read more »
Drake
Guest

Was on a flight out of Miami last week. United stuck me in the back between several different Orthodox Jewish families. One of them was talking about how they had just left Venezuela a couple of years ago. I had two thoughts:
1. The Jews are getting better at leaving in time.
2. The economic disaster in Venezuela must be one hell of a brain-drain for the country. If they hang all the Socialists tomorrow, that country will still be recovering for a decade or more.

Dutch
Guest

Maybe we should be studying Jewish migration patterns to help us understand where the biggest problems lie.

karl hungus
Guest

not being jewish is worth a lot more than knowing where the jews are escaping from.

Member

As long as the checks keep coming, the ruling class in the West is safe. The problem is they grow dumber and more incompetent every day. How long do you think they’ll be able to keep the checks coming? Don’t get too worked up, it’s already been much longer than I had expected.

sirlancelot
Guest
Pampered pussies of Western Nations indeed !!! Used to like being a prepper / survivalist feeling pretty smug about how I would be so much better off than my starving neighbors when SHTF. But with each passing day realize this is highly unlikely. With the massive Muslim Invasion going on in Europe and our ever shrinking freedoms here in the states it’s obvious nothing’s going to happen. Even if there was a modern day Minuteman militia the women in our families would give the muskets to authorities while we were at work. Out of control militant feminism has stolen our… Read more »
karl hungus
Guest

can i have your stuff, if it all gets too much for you?

Doug
Guest

Thats disgusting. Where is your dignity of liberty man? Not that I hope to see you do such a thing, it is always better to fight than give up, maybe you should make it easy as possible for those trying to destroy our great country and slit your own throat now, because it sure comes across you have quit and you believe resistance is futile. Is that what your intimating?

Zeroh Tollrants
Guest
As a woman, a mother, a grandmother, I’d like to throw in my reaction to your comment. If you are concerned that the women in your family would give your “muskets” to the coppers whilst you are out slaving in the old salt mines, perhaps the problem is that you have chosen poorly when picking a mate & raising any female offspring. I would not only not turn over any of my spouse’s artillery, but I sure as heck wouldn’t let anyone take any of mine, either. Besides, hubby only has an old 9 mm & his granddaddy’s squirrel rifle.… Read more »
Karl Horst (Germany)
Guest
If my observations of your mid-western towns are any indication of what people are willing to settle for as the “American Dream”, then nothing will change in America no matter how bad things get. Because for many Americans, it can’t get much worse. I am quite shocked at the number of seriously poor people I have run into who are obviously struggling to get by day to day. I knew about the rust-belt and the crime ridden cities like Detroit and southern Chicago, but where I am seeing severe poverty is in areas that have never been affected by de-industrializtion.… Read more »
A.B. Prosper
Guest

The Midwest is why Trump was elected.

Don’t know if anything will get better but given the alternative is turning the US into an abattoir , it seems like a good thing to try.

Doug
Guest
Karl Horst (Germany)
Guest

@ A.B Prosper – And how exactly do these people think Trump will improve their lives? Their economic conditions are not due to Obama, their situations are due to policies and conditions that go back 30-years.

Dutch
Guest
Saw an article today in the cloud-people Financial Times newspaper from the UK, of all things. Trump was not elected because he can “fix” everything (if one pays attention to how our government is supposed to operate, “fixing” everything is not even in his job description), but because he gives a measure of respect to the dirt people. Someone over there in the UK has figured it out. These people do not want compassion, sympathy, or handouts. They want a measure of respect from the rest of the country for being a vital part of things and for being people… Read more »
Doug
Guest

You miss the whole thing why we are the dirt people Karl. Poor by your standards of material goods has nothing to do with being rich in other ways.

Karl Horst (Germany)
Guest
@ Doug – I understand that being poor is not a bad thing or that poor people are less happy with their lives, but by anyone’s standards, these Americans are impoverished. Period! I honestly thought from all the comments on here, that this kind of poverty was limited to black, inner-city families. Seeing this in the “heartland” of America is really a shock. One cannot over look these poor whites who are not much better off than many in third world countries; no jobs, no health insurance, lack of decent housing, etc. Based on observations of the obvious weight problems… Read more »
Fuel Filter
Guest
Aaaannnnnd, we get our daily dose of The Karl. All he can ever write about (whine, actually) is how backward, depressing and uncivilized we Americans are. Thanks, Karl. I see you learned fucking nothing from your “holiday” over here. And I actually had my hopes up that you might have some sort of attitude adjustment. What a fool I was. The word “despicable” somehow leaps to mind. “Great spirits have always encountered opposition from mediocre minds,” ~ Albert Einstein And you bitch and moan about hotel breakfasts, plastic utensils and styrofoam plates? You, obviously, completely missed the great spirits that have… Read more »
Karl Horst (Germany)
Guest
@ FuelFilter – I would recommend you take off your rose colored glasses and travel your own country, and Europe, and then we can discuss the differences. Please feel free to correct me about anything I have stated that is incorrect. I am simply commenting on what I have seen first hand, not from blogs and websites written by other people. There is no doubt that America is vast and beautiful country. It’s landscapes are breathtaking and driving across the seemingly endless planes of Wyoming are impressive to say the least. I can’t even imagine what the early European settlers… Read more »
Karl Horst (Germany)
Guest
@ Fuel Filter – “Great spirits have always encountered opposition from mediocre minds,” ~ Albert Einstein. The irony of you using a German quote was not missed. I’m not “bitching” as much as simply reporting my observations of American hotel practices. I just find it unbelievable that you are willing to pay over $150 for a room and then eat per-packaged food on paper plates. Think about it. Would that be okay if you went to Out-Back Steak house or some other similar restaurant and paid that same money for a steak dinner for your family? Paper plates and plastic… Read more »
Giovanni Dannato
Guest

Details like styrofoam plates and plastic utensils are important hints. It means even mid-high price hotels would never trust adults not to steal silverware and plates.
The United States(I am American) is a low trust, low conscientiousness country, more like the 3rd world in that respect than Western Europe.
It also hints that in American culture everything is disposable, a quick fix, low time horizon.

Member
I lived in Germany so I’m having trouble buying this. Hotels were expensive. Obviously it depends on location but I never saw a $35 econolodge anywhere. A quart of oil was 20 Euro. A windshield for my Honda Civic in the US that would have been $150 in the US and repaired at my house was a 800 Euro at the shop. My house was a duplex with zero yard, I could have had a stand alone house the a garage of the same size (as I do now) for under 1000 per month. Just look at the price of… Read more »
Karl Horst (Germany)
Guest
@ Mark_Taylor – I am guessing you were military stationed in Germany? First, I’m happy you had the experience. Second – yes, fuel and oil is expensive in Germany and across most of Europe. If you imported a US-spec Honda as part of your household shipping allowance, rather than buying a Euro-spec car when you arrived in Germany, then yes, prices for US spec parts would be very expensive. I will grant you fuel in the US is incredibly cheap. I think on average I have paid $2.35/gallon where at home I pay about 1.35-CHF/liter. Econolodge would probably not exist… Read more »
Dan
Guest

I am thrilled to learn that you now have real silverware in Germany. That’s just wonderful!

Karl Horst (Germany)
Guest

@ Dan – it’s not just about the silverware, it just seems American standards are on the decline. As Giovanni commented, it’s an observation of paying more and more, and getting less and less and this is now the “norm”. Whether it’s knives and forks in a hotel or a college education that costs tens of thousands. Many of the points thezman brings up are very obvious across American society.

Member
Appearances can be deceiving. Ever been in one of those trailers? Bigger than most apartments in Europe. And the vast majority are owned outright. The reason so many people live in them is because in most states they are exempt from property taxes. I had an office manager who was married to a GM engineer who lived in one for a long time just to build up a nest egg before buying a home. Have you ever been to any of those apartment complexes that are outside of many European cities where migrant workers live? A lot of them are… Read more »
Karl Horst (Germany)
Guest
@ Teapartydoc – So you would rather live in a large rotting trailer than a small warm apartment? Really? So in your mind, size is more important than quality? I’m not saying housing everywhere in Europe is all first class, but in Europe, only the Roma live in trailers. Those barbed wire areas you are talking about are old military installations which are now being used to house refugees. No one in Europe, except refugees or prison inmates, lives behind barbed wire. I am seeing America with my own eyes and while the country is beautiful and the people friendly,… Read more »
Member

I’ve been to Europe many times and have been in those apartment complexes that you apparently have never seen and know nothing about.

Karl Horst (Germany)
Guest

@ teapartydoc – I would like to know where they are so I could comment. Do you have any specific locations?

Member

Seems to me they could just get up and leave.

Bill Jones
Guest

The primary difference between the first and third worlds is that in the former wealth is achievable by economic effort, in the latter, through political extraction..

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