Activity Versus Prosperity

An occasional topic on the dissident right is how the popular measures of the economy have no relevance to the daily lives of people. Andrew Yang has picked up on this and talks about the need for new measures. For example, the Gross Domestic Product has its uses, but it says very little about the life of the typical person. What most of these popular measures tell us is how much activity there is in the economy, but they tell us very little about the prosperity of the people, which is really what matters.

This story from the Daily Mail is a good starting point for thinking about the difference between activity and prosperity in the economy. The men hired to build these mansions certainly got employment from the task. They were paid wages to do stuff, at least until the project was finished. The building of these mansions certainly added to the GDP and improved the unemployment rate. Yet, no one would look at the result and say Britain is more prosperous as a result. In fact, the opposite seems true.

This is because prosperity is not a purely material measure. When Notre Dame Cathedral burned down, the wealth of the typical Frenchman was diminished, because a part of his cultural heritage was lost. Economic activity will increase when they decide to rebuild it, but the result will not make France more prosperous. In fact, the result will only add to the cultural loss, as the people in charge will make a mockery of the original structure. Notre Dame will be another Parisian eyesore.

In fairness to economist, we can measure economic activity, but we can only sense economic prosperity. The former is like measuring wind gusts in a storm. The latter is to assess the damage done by the storm. The mistake is in assuming the former is objective while the latter is subjective. While true, to some degree, the choice of measures is always subjective. There is a reason we hear about the unemployment rate every month, but no one ever discusses the workforce participation rate.

The zeal of modern economists for measuring activity is about avoiding the topic of culture and the prosperity of the people. For example, our rulers don’t want the people debating whether it is better to pay more for goods and services provided by a local seller, versus from a global operator. This is the sort of discussion that leads to debates about who benefits and why. The people in charge want as many people in the wheel, running as fast as they can, not thinking about who? whom?

Ultimately, while activity has its value, the fundamental focus of a people is on their collective prosperity. Not the prosperity of a few, but of the whole. Venezuela is in flux, in part, because it’s overall increase in prosperity, the last two decades, has not increased the general prosperity of the people. Granted, outside forces are playing a major role, but subversion is possible because the people don’t feel they are benefiting from the system. No one has ever revolted against prosperity.

In America, social unrest is increasing, despite the increase in economic activity, because the white population senses a loss in their prosperity. Would the typical white person pay a little more for groceries if the stores were staffed with white people and the emergency room did not look like a Tijuana bus stop? From the perspective of economics, we would be poorer, but the quality of life would be much higher. It turns out that the true cost of cheap labor is the prosperity of the people.

This was always the error made by socialist of various types. Communists took it the furthest, assuming that humans were nothing more than economic units. The body count eventually disabused the Soviets of this, but the damage had been done. It will take generations to undo the damage of Bolshevism. Similarly, the Chinese have gone down the same road, thinking activity is prosperity. Their plummeting birth rate ensures that China will get old long before she gets truly prosperous.

One very important aspect of the great culture war in the West right now is a debate about activity versus prosperity. Do you want to be a guy in the ethnostate with less stuff or the guy with the latest of everything in a deracinated cosmopolitan area? Would you rather have a little less activity in order to have more of what defines you? The social capital that is a natural product of homogeneous societies has a value. We gave it up for cheap product. The question now is how much will it cost to get it back?

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151 thoughts on “Activity Versus Prosperity

  1. This is ultimately a problem of quantitative v qualitative measurement. It’s easy to measure the quantity of something and sell people on the benefits of more xyz. It’s much harder, almost nigh impossible to measure the quality of it. And as they say ‘what you measure you get more of’. This includes ‘the economy’, defined as the complex set of interactions whereby humans exchange both material and immaterial (abstract) goods, services and feelings.

    Quality is almost a kind of subconscious gut feeling, for which there can be some quantitative proxies, but is notoriously subjective and difficult to measure. One major reason being is it requires people to be openly honest with themselves.

    In simple terms it’s easy to measure the financial activity of diversity, make an index for it and point to it every night on the news as a sign of progress. Hard to create indexes for the attendant ‘socialised costs’ that come with it, like ie Frustration in Traffic, Feeling of Unease on Public Transport, Lost Feelings of Identity. There’s nobody to point out that we lost ‘5 points of collective identity today’ on the nightly news because we brought in X amount of the third world.

    We could make them and there are some good proxies, but the elites obviously keep them suppressed because it would mean having to think about real opportunity costs. Maybe the people in general even want them suppressed, so they don’t have to think. Who knows.

  2. Do you want to be a guy in the ethnostate with less stuff or the guy with the latest of everything in a deracinated cosmopolitan area?

    It is strange that my generation (millenials) is choosing the less stuff part while still trending to insufferable cosmopolitan socialism.

    They get that quality of life doesn’t come from how much shit you have weighing you down.

    I’m trapped in this limbo of the unattached, millenial, modern less-is-more attitude while desperately wanting to build a generational home – where I plant trees whose shade my grand kids get to sit under. But who stays on one piece of property for generations anymore? We can barely stay on one piece of property for 10 years.

    And yeah, the constant changing of hands of real estate in buying and selling is an example of that activity.

    Anyway, good post.

  3. I thought this might be an article on why the stock market continues to be an ‘indicator’ and has the ability to bring us all to our knees. We all know it’s fake. All fake. Why does everyone keep pretending otherwise? Why would anyone (normal people) keep their money in the market, except what they can afford to lose like a video game? Does anyone read all the many, many articles on the economy/market that doesn’t really exist in the real world?
    But it’s not that article.

  4. As I have written here before, my older brother earns a lot more than me and lives in a very expensive city. I earn less and live in the white suburbs. His kids can’t attend certain schools in the neighbourhood because the main language of the playground is now Mandarin. At the start of each year, about 30 Chinese kids walk into the school, no enrolment, no English, no lunch, no parents. The principal recommended my brother send his kids to another school 6km away since it was no longer suitable for Heritage Australians. My kid’s school is majority white and gives little more than lip service to other cultures. When he visits me I can sense a sort of nostalgia for the life he grew up in. Despite his material abundance, I wouldn’t swap lives with him.

  5. I was a business major in school. I studied a fair amount of economics while there and found the majority of what was taught to be somewhat suspect. The idea of the constantly expanding economy for one thing being the ideal always troubled me. Cost accounting was more beneficial, to me anyway from a business perspective. Market dynamics are paramount to success no doubt. It told me where to concentrate my efforts. After time I realized that the unnecessary expenditure of effort or busy work was anathema to success. Being able to run my own deal insulated me from having to participate in most of the non productive behavior that did nothing to improve my quality of life. Somehow I manage to minimize the restrictive efforts being forced on me by the powers that be. That helped me to improve my quality of life. I prospered. It allowed me to be able to make more choices in my own self interest. The State works overtime killing off the culture of prosperity to force the idea of egalitarian socialism down our throats. Bless their parasitic pompous ass hearts. Prosperity is quality. It can mean different things to different people. It is the responsibility of the State to foster the environment that allows the people within is purview to prosper. Only a small Government can make that possible. The socialist ticks we are forced to endure here have gone beyond being merely annoying they are sucking our life’s blood away. A pox on them. Live long and prosper.

  6. This was philosophically a very good anti-Marxist post. Not in the specific policy sense or in the political bashing sense. But in the philosophical foundation sense. The strictly materialistically economic view of humans is Marxist. And it is b/c globalist hypercapitalists share this view that they can work flawlessly w leftie. And hate us.

  7. Despite years of advances we still can”t quantify human happiness. Our empirical lives present genuine sciencists enormous unknowns to explore, but our present Great Minds can’t see what they believe they already know.

    Science in it’s heyday was largely the province of aristocrats and their patrons, not a full-time wholly dependent mercenary army of the managerial class.

    To the extent we can, much less should, quantify what Aristotle and others of our genuinely best minds called happiness (much less virtue) it will require better minds than we have now – not in the raw IQ sense which depite Idiocracy we still possess,.but in wisdom married with IQ. That means the defenestration of most of our present intellectuals.

    • I watch deer – especially the yearlings – prance about and chase each other through some witless delight in being alive, as spring is in full bloom and food is everywhere. Half of them will be dead a year from now, through disease, famine, roadkill, and hunting.

      You can’t quantify their delight in being alive any more than they can. Maybe we should just accept the terms of happiness they accept. If you are happy, then just live it. The full force of time will take us down as it does them.

      Just a thought – not trying to argue, Happiness is an emotion, like love. It’s wonderful, ineffable, and temporary. But it’s not to be ignored and certainly defies quantification.

  8. One of the stresses on our income not measured by inflation is – of course – taxation.

    My father paid a school tax of $23.50 in 1950. Consulting, this translates into $250.17 in modern cash money. I live in a house of similar value just three doors away from the old homestead. I paid a school tax of $3800 in 2018. And that’s just one property tax – the County/Town combined tax in 2018 was $2700. That’s 6500 right there, extracted from me for the crime of “owning” a house.

    I guess that in principle a 100% tax rate means 0% inflation.

  9. When politicians insist that mass immigration makes us richer, it’s because that’s what their pet economist told them, and to an economist that is true: BNP rises, ergo: the country is getting richer. What they don’t mention is that BNP/capita falls, the locals get poorer on average.

    The banks get richer, because by giving an average African a ticket to Europe, you raise his financial value by orders of magnitude: in Somalia, the guy was worth, say, $1,000 per year, but suddenly he can afford first-world medicine, first-world education for his children, a modern apartment with most all amenities, a bigass flat screen, an iPhone and, if he’s even half clever, a car that he can drive on first-world roads – all without lifting a finger.

    Were do the monies come from to pay for all these nice things? Well, since Europe technically got richer when we imported the Somali, European governments can take out larger loans – loans underwritten by the European tax payers, their children and their grandchildren. It’s a kind of subprime scam: you bundle a bunch of worthless papers with some blue-chip stock and give the entire package a tripe-A credit rating.

    In fact, the more expensive our Somali friend is to the European tax payer, the more valuable he is to the banks, because the banks would never loan a Somali a three dollar bill, but they’d loan Europeans the money to pay for his shit.

    The idea is that our Somali friend now gets down to the business of wiping ass on our infidel pensioners and cleaning our infidel pools, starts paying taxes. But since Somali are a lazy, stupid, violent, criminal and superstitious lot, only an idiot would let one near anything of value not bolted down or let him anywhere near children, so he can’t get a job, even in the rare cases where he wants one. (Apropos “honor” culture.)

    Here in Scandinavia, an average Somali costs in the neighbourhood of $2 million over a lifetime. Iraqis are a bit cheaper, but they’re up there too. It will surprise no-one to learn that the only immigrants making a net contribution – paying more in taxes than they receive in welfare benefits and infrastructure – are other white people, Indians and East Asians, with Americans topping the lists.

  10. Absolutely the best writing in this blog and in internet in recent times. About being rich, in my country, we just discovered that the most expensive housing we have is not the businessman villa or president palace or luxury hotel but our brand new supermax prison.

    Do you want to spend entire life there ?

  11. Interesting post on a vexed subject. It is true that economic activity doesn’t automatically equal prosperity, but it is also true that without economic activity there can be no prosperity. But, like ‘value’, ‘prosperity’ is elusive and it is a mistake to suppose that it can be quantified. Almost all of us could live well enough with much reduced economic prosperity, but why should we_?

    Z Man posits some reasons based on communitarian values. But, as he says, ‘value’ is a spiritual matter as much as an economic one. The First Testament contains much useful wisdom on this subject, especially the Books of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes. I’d recommend them to anybody desiring insight on these matters.

    This is yet another illustration of why we should never fall into the trap of accepting the Marxist/Materialist framework of our enemies in the Globalist Cloud. It ought not be that hard to understand/accept that concepts must remain in tension with each other in the real world.

    • There is economic activity and there is economic activity. When we actually produced our own goods, employed our own people our quality of life was much better. Teenagers knew they had job waiting for them at the local factories and shops. The cost of living was much lower and our towns were nice places to live.

      With the new economy that all got replaced. Shops and factories went overseas, Nasty strip malls took the place of mom and pop stores. Our towns withered and died as the jobs went overseas.

      The new economy is often called the FIRE. Based not producing wealthy buy on speculation and scamming the lower classes. This economy only benefits a handful of people. For most others it gives the illusion of wealth and nothing more. It’s ultimately extractive in nature and leaves a smoking crater were towns and communities once existed.

      And that is the economy we’ve had for the last 20+ years.

  12. Workforce particpation rates also are inaccurate. When a woman leaves her wage or salary job to get married, have kids and make a home, she’s contributing more to the economy, not less. For one, her husband has incentive to work harder and smarter. For another, in 20-25 years, her productive sons and homemaker daughters will repeat the cycle.

  13. Z: “Would you rather have a little less…in order to have more of what defines you?”

    We all have a bit of fear of having too little or buzzing too close to being poor. It’s good to keep in mind that nearly everyone says their happiest days were when they had almost nothing. (Obviously this happiness has a lot to do with being young at the time). But it does show how not having much didn’t actually make you depressed. You were pretty much fine. I remember living out of my car for a summer and it was good times in a way. You hear that from rock stars all the time. Their happiest days were traveling to gigs jammed into a used van and basically living out of it. The problems came when they started making money. Just saying, the mind and soul are very adaptable.

    • Extreme poverty experienced at times in my life did indeed make me depressed. It’s true that if one is lucky, and poverty is accompanied by compensations like living in a pleasing environment or being in love, it can be tolerable. That’s despite being poor, though, not because of it.

      As Joe Louis is supposed to have said, “Money can’t buy happiness. But it does steady the nerves.”

      • Gravity. Agree. I did not mean poverty. I meant having little. Or only as much as you “really” need.

        • Wymyn of the world…..hold on to your twisted knickers and land-locked brains! Frip is on the loose!

    • Frip living out of his car and later remarking on women’s panties. I wish I was there.

  14. The point about service personnel in grocery stores really resonates with me. When we lived in East Tennessee, the service personnel in stores and fast food consisted of poor, white, mountain people. They’d certainly be looked down on by the elites of the college town we now live close to but it was pleasant to go out shopping or even to local government offices and not have to deal with the diversity we have here. Here, some places are staffed by folk who look like they’re on work release from the local jail.

  15. One of the many downsides to government floating on a sea of bureaucracy is that so much public policy is based on criteria that are measurable (or appear to be measurable) quantitatively. More or fewer people in the unemployment line show up in the Bureau of Labor Statistics monthly print. But the despair of the single white male discriminated against in seeking gainful employment, perfectly legally and in some quarters with approval, registers only in his heart. It dies without an echo outside the walls of the think tank.

    Our society’s way of framing issues fails again and again because it only grapples with the results of forces too subtle to move the lines on a graph, not the forces themselves.

    “The turning tide is carrying out to sea not just this or that claim to the cure of all our national ills, but the very idea of political cures; what diminishes politics so rapidly is the growing realization that we have been looking in the wrong direction, literally for centuries, in our search for problems considerably more profound, enduring and important than the balance of payments or industrial relations, and that only when we change the direction of our gaze and look inwards shall we begin to understand anything worth understanding.” — Bernard Levin, columnist for The Times and The Observer, 1979

    • Bingo.

      Trust the Booby’s experience on this one. No one in a bureaucracy cares if the official numbers are accurate or meaningful, just that they’re official numbers. So long as you use accepted numbers and include them in your report you cannot be held accountable.

      You just acted according to the official numbers. You covered your ass. Collect paycheque for another 20 years, then collect pension.

  16. what it will cost to get it back will be the division of this nation into separate parts, done peacefully, or otherwise.

  17. The question is why we, as a society, don’t value non material things and what would it take to make us? To answer that, we have to ask whether we ever valued these things or simply valued what we had in the relative poverty of the past.

    Also, did our elites value these things? They are the ones largely shaping culture and they seem to have ditched these values during the industrial revolution, or at least the ones who came through fortune intact did.

    This article points out an obvious truth : that economic journalism doesn’t talk about disruptive subjects like under employment or purchasing power and conflates activity with prosperity. I agree with the article, but the tragedy is the materialism of western culture and the challenge is how to fix it. I don’t know of anybody who’s come up with an answer. It may not be fixable, the temptation of material wealth may be too strong to overcome at the societal level.

  18. The basic underlying problem is two things which are essentially really one thing:

    1. America is no longer viewed as a nation, it is viewed as a giant cookie jar. And every single person on the planet has been told that they are owed a cookie. And Americans are told that they are bad, evil people just for wanting to keep a few cookies for themselves and their children.

    2. Pretty much every single person on Earth would much rather live next door to White people than with their own kind. There are objective reasons for this, and unfortunately it is in many ways a rational desire. The only problem is that the math can never, ever work out. The other problem is that White people, being rational, would also prefer to live next door to White people too. Which presents a conundrum.

    So far, the only solution on offer seems to be to point and sputter at White people, and call them racist for wanting the same damn thing everybody else wants.

  19. LOL @ the idea that we have any hope of getting back the ethnostate…what planet do you live on?
    The best we can hope for is to accelerate the collapse and hope to form small enclaves in the aftermath…most likely we have a very slim chance to do even that…we lost…admit it…

    • You may not have the most hopeful message but you have one of the all-time great names! Do you have any boomer raps to share with us?

    • We lost the Republic in 1861. Some of us are just now catching on. That is what the dissident right is about.

      • While not in complete agreement, it’s hard to look at the America of 1850 versus the America of 1870 without noticing that something fundamental was changed, or lost. The money-boys took over and they’re still with us.

        Oh, maybe I do agree with you after all!

        • Menchen boiled it down. Men left for the War representing their individual states and returned as subjects of one.

      • I completely get why Southerners feel the Republic was lost in 1861, and their feeling is justified.

        That being said, the War of Northern Aggression affected my ancestors in California very little. The biggest change between 1860 and 1870 was the transcontinental railroad.

        • The war and the Transcontinental railroad were two big things that opened up the country to immigration – and set a pattern. The North needed bodies for the war – and once the war was won and the railroad was in place – the Feds wanted new bodies to populate the country with.

          It’s a similar dynamic to what is going on now – where the elites think we’re not reproducing fast enough to keep their leftist socialist financial ponzi scheme going. Mix in the toxic belief system of the SJWs – and you end up with the country flooded with turd worlders this time around instead of Irish for soldiering and the Eastern Europeans to fill up fly-over land and Chinese to build the railroads.

  20. A good example of GDP not being the same as prosperity is WWII, which is often credited with lifting America out of the Great Depression. The GDP numbers certainly soared through the stratosphere as America built out its military, but were the people really better off? In the 1930’s people were in bread lines trying to get food and re-build their lives from bankruptcy. But in the 40’s they were getting shot at on the beaches of Normandy and blown up by Kamikazes in the Pacific. Can anyone really say the average man had it better off in the early 1940’s than in the late 1930’s?

    • The tough times of the Second World War provided national purpose, the strongest binding agent of all.

      I wonder what that feel like. I was born too late to ever know.

      • All war by nature is socialist. Britain did not enter WW11 socialist but it sure left it socialist. Beware.

        • You can track the degradation of the United States on a chart – and it almost perfectly follows our constant involvement in war after war after war.

      • America must have been a strange and new place in 1945, when everyday people who grew up in the Depression gradually came to realize that they lived in an unprecedented powerhouse. My parents were Depression kids, and they recycled, and clipped coupons, and braided rugs from old clothes; they were the last people I knew of to suck it up and buy a color TV in 1973.

        They were not religious, they weren’t even particularly conservative – Republicans, to be sure, of the Eisenhower ilk – but they were ‘tradcons’ through and through. No talk in my house about the moral ambiguity of the atom bombs, of Sherman’s march to the sea, of 50,000 Americans dead in Viet Nam to no clear purpose, of the massacre at Wounded Knee in 1890. America was to them a force, a spirit, and that’s what they lived and believed.

        That’s all gone now, but I am grateful that I saw it, lived it as a child. To be a young American in the latter half of the 20th century was a blessing.

    • Yes, one can really say that. Certainly the 4Fs and middle-aged guys who stayed behind did well. As a question of investment/return the US, by sacrificing “only” 300,000 men, emerged as a financial, industrial and military hegemon in just four years; by the standards of the other leading players in that war, that’s barely getting your hair mussed.

  21. I have just spent several days in South Dakota, Wyoming and Montana. People are friendly here, curious why a Californian is passing through in a beat up old Chevy pickup. But no one mocks the truck because, really, a lawyer should be driving a fancy SUV instead. It has been a refreshing sojourn and food for thought about a possible future relocation. Values and the prosperity of the type Zman espouses are inextricably linked and clearly to be found in these so-called “flyover” places.

    • Utah has already fallen…..tons of lefty retirees in the south and lots of high tech lefty young nitwits to the north….Romney is the reincarnated McCain…the LDS church is globalist like the Catholic church..we’re turning fast so don’t land here. Am starting to do research into Wyoming…probably too late. Wyoming is lots of wind, cold and snow. Bah.

      • Idaho is the same, although it’s much better than the west coast. Idahoans, especially the conservatives, are aching to show the world how to be welcoming to refugees.

        My life feels like Nietzsche’s eternal return where I watch the same drama re-enacted in different locations.

        • Like Nietzche I feel that we’ll have to go through all this again and again and again; it’s no wonder he lost his mind. I stay sane by rehearsing the alternatives – and when that fails, I just bathe in the hard fact that I control none of it.

        • When I came to my city in Idaho 14 years ago, you would go weeks without seeing a black person and when you did, they were a member of a small group that have lived here for a long time or an adopted child of a Mormon couple. American blacks and African “refugees” began trickling in during the last few years of the Obama Administration. Since Trump’s election that trickle is becoming a flood. Nearly every day I see a new arrival. Apparently Trump either can’t or won’t stop the rogue government agencies and NGOs flooding stable White communities with POC.

          I have lived and worked in Memphis and New Orleans so I have an extensive knowledge of the pathologies of the Black community that Idaho natives do not have. It is just a matter of time before all the old, familiar problems begin appearing here.

        • When I catch those stories about some “refugee” cut up a kid at the housing project they live in – and it says it happened in Idaho – all I can think of is “WTF – even Idaho has gone full SJW nutso?”.

          It makes no sense.

          Has Idaho really gone nuts and INVITED them in – or is it that we’re just seeing the legacy of the Obama administration’s effort to dump a bunch of turd worlders into strong red states?

      • Yes. I believed, and still do, that their first mistake was hosting the Olympics, when they should have ket the place secret. That was of course Romney. Next they are importing Mexicans. They think they can convert anybody but all that will happen is that they will lose who they are. It’s a beautiful state, but so was California.

        • The first time I visited Salt Lake City nearly 15 years ago I realized something was wrong. I was walking around downtown at night and the hair on the back of my neck was NOT standing up. Compared to my experience with diverse eastern cities, I felt completely at ease.

          Of course now, they have a growing African immigrant community in addition to the Hispanic invasion.

        • James…..Was as recent as 1978 that the LDS church first allowed blacks into the church. Now with our “who’s the most woke” culture, the church is rushing to virtue signal/demonstrate multi culti wokeness and distance itself from it’s Bad White history by …contributing $ to the refugee resettlement racket…throwing open the door to illegal Hispanics, …..ignoring our rule of law and national sovereignty by teaching English as a second language to illegals using church people and materials….and love your neighbor as thyself and never pass judgment ever, even when judgment was designed as a survival mechanism to keep one’s stupid ass alive. My Mormon world friends and neighbors act like a bunch of blinkered sitting ducks. The church is trying to fly under the radar of the woke managerial overclass, virtue signal in the correct woke way, and keep it’s tax exempt status.

      • I told you sister to look in to my area…You would love it and by the way you comment you would fit right in…👍😉

  22. “Would you rather have a little less activity in order to have more of what defines you?”

    This question is being forced by Trump’s tariffs on China and its effects on American farmers. So far, the farmers seem to remain loyal to Trump. Of course, the journalists are using the pain of the tariffs as a wedge between Trump and the farmers. I wish there was a way to give the farmers immediate help. I would donate.

  23. The problem with GDP is that it’s a mean not a median. No one likes to talk about the statistics based on medians, because they’re hard to ignore. You’re always looking at the guy right in the middle of the pack. So if the guy in the middle of the pack went from making 50,000 to 50,600, but his healthcare went up 1,000, gasoline went up 300 and insurance went up 400, you get to see not only the disintegration of the middle class but just how rapidly changing it is these days….yet banner headline from corporate whore media will say “middle class has more spending power this year.” A total fabrication, and very Soviet in its presentation. We may need a Bernie just to break the machine so we can look around and recenter our lives. Four years of Trump to discredit the system and four years of Bernie to break the system.

  24. GDP and other measures are not all they’re cracked up to be, and that’s strictly from a bean-counting/economics perspective. The “cultural” or subjective elements are whole other ball of wax.

    Perhaps the most pernicious of the lot is the CPI inflation rate. Everyone knows something’s wrong. No one can afford to live anymore, but the numbers keep saying there’s no inflation.

    Investopedia talks about some of the traditional problems with GDP (the “housework” claim is a little dubious, but it’s in fashion):

    The Booby found a good series of articles that deal with worthless economic statistics. Here’s the one on GDP:

    • And what about the unemployment rate. When people say that the ’08-09 downturn wasn’t so bad because unemployment didn’t go nearly as high as it did in the 1930s, they’re mostly wrong. We measured unemployment differently in the 30s. If you use the 30s definition, ’08-09 was almost as bad.

      John Williams Shadow Government Statistics is interesting at times, though he does seem a bit into doom and gloom. Never use these guys for investment advice. When it comes to investing, even if you’re 100% correct, if the markets says that you’re wrong, you’re wrong, and you’ll go broke.

    • Inflation and unemployment stats were changed by the governmen to hide just how bad our economy and jobs situation really is. IMS Bush the lesser really started to rejigger those stats to cover up what a lousy economy we had even though we had a booming RE and stock market.

      CPI looks low because energy and food prices have been removed. plus some other measurements which I forget. So that Big Mac meal that a few years ago went for $6.00 now costs $9.00 or the bag of Doritos that used to be $3.00 is now $4.00 are not counted. And when energy prices increase and we pay more, it’s not counted.

      When you sit back and really think about it, we are really getting f**ked by this so called economy. This is why most people have less than $500 in the bank and are one paycheck away from disaster.

      I really do believe the ShadowStats CPI that inflation is running at 8% or so.

      • Lying with statistics ..

        Back in the day CNBC used to do a weekly segment on the
        dollar cost of a market basket of everyday consumer non
        durables ~ around 10 items in all .. Along with the cost of that basket
        from various regions of the country .. They dropped the reporting when
        they could no longer reconcile the “basket” costs with what the
        Government’s reported CPI values were ..

  25. To some extent you are asking too much from economics and to another extent economics does have the language to address part of what your talking about.

    Taking the latter first, part of the issue is one of stock vs flow, which is to say accumulate capital vs current activity. The west in general, and America in particular has become enamored with the idea that current consumption is the be all end all of economic activity and public policy. Metaphorically our elites are pampered brats living off their inheritance, which was slowly built up by many preceding generations. They’re pawning the silverware and bits of their land to fund parties and whatever quixotic pursuits strike their fancy at any given time. Which is fine for them, but will leave their heirs (if they have any) poor.

    As too the failure of economics to address quality of life, well that’s just outside that domain, it’s a bit like saying that physics needs to address spirituality. Economics is a subset of human psychology dealing with our interaction with material things, not the all encompassing explanation of life that many want it to be.

    • Correct. However, we should at least acknowledge that economic metrics have their limitations. At the moment, the West doesn’t seem to realize that. We gaze upon GDP growth (not even GDP per capita but overall growth) and corporate profits as the only measures what is good for the people.

      Of course, that would mean defining what we mean by “the people.”

  26. Yeah, I remember years ago asking my “I don’t see color” libertarian/cuckservative neighbor if he be willing to get a 10% tax cut if that meant that our area would go from ~10% NAM to ~20% NAM. What about a 50% tax cut if the area went to 50% NAM. I mean, if we’re all the same, he should jump at that deal.

    He tried to dodge the question, but I pushed him for an answer. He answered the only way that he could, saying that he would take those deals. I laughed, and half-jokingly said that he was lying. He didn’t correct me.

    • Btw, bit of advice for anyone thinking of playfully pointing out the hypocrisies of your lefty neighbors: Be ready to be unpopular.

      Also, be very aware that upper middle-class Nice White Lady SJW types will very publicly lose their shit and start screaming at you, calling you anything and everything. And no one will back you up. These women are the biggest spoiled brats in the world, and they’ve almost never been challenged, even in a light-hearted way. They don’t know how to respond except with a full frontal attack.

      • True, it’s good to just get along with neighbors. Liberal or whatever. Reminds me of a time I at least got to mess with one. There was a SJW middle aged lady down the street from me. I was walking my dog and she was checking her mail in a t-shirt and bikini bottoms that kinda looked like underwear. As I walked past her I said innocently and sincerely, “I like your panties, Mis.” She hissed, “they are NOT panties Sirrrr.”

        • Right. I mostly stopped directly pointing out neighbors’ and co-workers’ hypocrisies years ago. It wasn’t changing any minds, anyway.

          I’ve found that planting little seeds of doubt about their beliefs works better. If they say that multi-cultural societies are best, I say, “Well, I hope you right because your kids are going to be minorities in this country when they grow up and, historically, minorities aren’t treated well.”

          Z is right about the best red pill is telling people that whites will be a minority in this country. You can see that it gets white people – even liberals – thinking.

          • Yes. You can stick and idea into an alien brain if it has a barb. It changes nothing for the present, but everything related to that barb in the future is snagged on that hook, like seeing something that cannot be unseen. After a certain age most things that are learned require that you unlearn an opinion. Whether you are amused or outraged by the that process determines your political affiliation.

      • They’re the ones with the “Hate Has No Home Here” signs on their front lawns. There’s no “hate” until you have the temerity to disagree with them.

        • Yep, the woman who screamed at me had a sign up in front of her house. Was something inclusion or welcoming all. That would be a $750k house in a 90%+ white neighborhood.

          Oh, did I mention that she’s naturally a feminist who doesn’t work. Yep, Ms. Grrrll Power lives off her husband’s money. Poor guy works 10+ hour days so his wife can bitch about white males oppressing women and NAMs.

          • Got the flame thrower in the face treatment the other day, in Southern Utah, so it’s everywhere now. Standing in a store line, a friend commented on the unseasonably cold spring (a skiff of snow here today on Memorial Day with wood stove still up and running) and I suggested she look up another low sunspot cycle playing out and possible long term cooling. A near by wyman zirl got in my face declaring she’s a biologist at the local university (meaning don’t argue with the arrogant zirl) and that I’m talking nonsense, the cold is due to particulate matter in the air. I cut her off, told her she’s brain washed, a lefty from the lefty academy and to get her stupid self the hell out of my face right now. She kept sputtering and my voice dropped in pitch to big girl dog voice push back to get the hell away from me you brainwashed nutcase (another word came to mind). She stood off just going on about weather…vaccines and brainless deplorables ..and she knows because she’s a professor.
            No where to run…no where to hide.

          • I’d expect that everybody in line agreed with you including the cashier. Me, I’d just tell her we are stuck smack dab in an geologically epic Ice-age and that it is impolite to speak with her head up her ass.

          • I don’t believe I ever had a “discussion” with someone who immediately cited their “credentials” in/as a point of support for their argument that was not in my opinion, a know nothing. It was good however at often stopping the conversation as I simply lost respect/interest in even addressing the person further.

            In academic colloquium, I don’t believe I ever heard such an argument made. There’s a reason for this. 😉

          • By citing credentials out of the starting gate, the Great Divide is immediately established wasting no time. She was virtual signaling to those of her tribe that she is a Good White. And she established to the audience and, for that matter, to the character she is playing, that I Am Evil. This is done immediately to produce the Morality Play on the spot to the spectators establishing the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

          • Thanks for standing your ground, Range Front. It is heartening to know there are a few other women out there who aren’t totally useless, emotionally incontinent idiots.

        • If I were gutsier, or perhaps dying of cancer, I’d put a “Haters Welcome” sign in my yard. But I don’t want the house burned down and maybe I’m just getting old.

        • There’s a number of people in my area who have those “Hate Has No Home Here! ” signs up on their front lawns.

          The first time I saw one of those signs I thought to myself ” Yeah it does – it lives right up the street”.

          A week or so later the wife and I were going somewhere and drove by one and she commented “WTF is that – hate has no home here? What is that supposed to mean?”

          (She’s relatively ignorant of all the lunatic SJW crap coming out of the left these days)

          I just responded to her with ” Hate has no home there – but it did just buy a condo around the corner”.

          A few weeks after that we were at a party and somebody mentioned those signs and how they had one up on their lawn. My wife said to me ” what’s that you said to me the other day when we passed one of those signs”

          Oh ….. you mean – “hate has no home here – yes it does! It just bought the house around the corner from you!!”.

          You could just see the dark cloud come over that virtue signaling turd.

      • It’s worse than that, even. The last time my wife and I attended a Catholic couples’ retreat, we became quite friendly with another couple who I identified – with that radar I think most of us here at the Z blog are gifted with – as libs. No problem; I still enjoy the company of new friends, and steer away from trouble: It’s just a pleasant and soulful weekend away from the economistic hurly-burly under discussion here.

        Well, on day two my new friends launched into a crazed assault on the Donald, assuming that I, a normal person by their standard, would join in, or at least nod vociferously in agreement, the way that chick in the Minitru cafeteria did as she listened to her lunch-mate’s diatribe calling for ‘the complete and final elimination of Goldsteinism’.

        At the proper moment, I said, “When it comes to politics, I couldn’t agree less. But let’s not go into that” – and tried to steer things in a more innocuous direction. Yeah, so much for that. These two avoided me after that, and we never passed another word except for a couple of awkward hellos in the corridors.

        These women and their manservants known as husbands can’t even comprehend varieties of opinion.

        • Yes, Pimpkin….as Z has pointed out….we are in the center of a morality play produce by the religion of the secular left. Morality Play. Therefore when you disagreed, you became the Devil Incarnate. You are not just wrong…you are Evil, Mr Pimpkin. Then you can lock in the brain to understand why, in my thread contained, the Professor Zirl blew up at me and couldn’t stop….and why your new lefty friends could choose no other choice but to walk away from you. Surprised they didn’t burn you at the stake. You’re Evil…..I’m Evil….This is a Puritan morality play, a lot like what sent us spiraling into the Civil War. Puritan hysteria shaped as morality.

          • That’s just it with this terrifying new breed of person. Remember when we’d say “we’ll agree to disagree”? You can be as civil as possible, but without that total commitment to the Mood of the Moment, you are an existential enemy because you cast doubt on the unshakeable faith. You become an enemy worthy of annihilation.

            We aren’t dealing with healthy people here, RFF.

          • No, dear, we aren’t. We are dealing with insanity. Sure would like to know what “they” will think of us 200-300 years into the future. I was late to the game to understand this side of human nature. We are a herd animal….and for the sake of clinging to the herd…thinking is discarded. Herd uber alis. Very disappointed in the human race….a lot like the sheep raised in large numbers in my rural area. Over the cliff we go!

          • We humans are interesting. We’re herd animals, when herding is the norm; we are also lone hunters, even cannibals, when survival is at stake.

            You can’t find more communal and hierarchical discipline in mankind than on a naval vessel; but when the torpedoes strike and the hull is broken, the cry is “every man for himself!”

            We can do both things. We really are quite remarkable, we humans. We find a way.

          • Maybe. When I was a little little kid about 6, I remember swinging from my big walnut tree swing, and thinking….thinking about the world. Like a waking dream, one concept that stuck with me to this day was ….why did the Jews in Germany stay put, why didn’t a majority of them leave and avoid millions of them being killed? As a goofy little kid, I thought and pondered upon this question with no answer. Now I believe am seeing somewhat similar dynamics playing out. The more insane the world gets, the more it is politically incorrect to notice and point and push back. People stick their heads in the sand and beat on you if you stand out by noticing and pointing. Am seeing a majority of people today blinkered up, ready to be run down by the juggernaut of power growing to be unleashed, run down with eyes glazed over. In Germany, only the few who were willing to make escape plans, give up blinkered friends and family, were able to save their lives.

          • The second waking dream this goofy little kid had swinging in the walnut tree is…..I could see in my mind that a majority of people would become really fat and look like my Bobo the Clown fat sand-bottomed punching bag. Most people would be fat like Bobo, and they could hardly move. Then people from another country came in to our country and pushed over all the fat Bobo the Clown people and they couldn’t move or get back up…..and the foreign thin people took control of our country. What a goofy little kid. Just a dream.

          • No mushrooms in those hills of Northern California. Just free time for a little kid to muse and roam the hills and watch clouds and wade up the creek and sneak up on animals . Kids are now mostly in the city and live 180 degrees differently than I did…little out door time or free unstructured time to follow one’s nose. Unless you live on a ranch, kids in towns and cities in Utah are rather regimented and into sports and a half dozen other activities. No time for the brain to muse, or invoke the muses, all 9 of them!

          • And a lot of them came here and started up the process again.

            It’s almost like they have some sort of guilt complex and need to recreate the social conditions and reaction that go so many of their brethren thrown into ovens.

      • They don’t know how to respond except with a full frontal attack.
        That’s the only way they can respond Brother because there is no substance to what they are defending and if they don’t convince you or at least make you back off with their bluff then everything comes crashing down around them…So they will give it everything they have in their arsenal to keep you at Bay…

      • “Nice White Ladies” are the core of the SJWs and utterly unmoored to any real community or value. They are utterly consumed by their social standing within the herd, and utterly unconcerned with real people who live nearby – only the darker-hued innocent primeval saints that people their imagination – and in your neighborhood, not theirs. Believe me – both my boys went to private Christian schools – and these women are deadly.

  27. There are lies, damnable lies, and statistics. Sports bettors prefer statistics while lottery schlunks spend on forgivable lies of self-delusion. No matter because the house always wins and we are owned by the casino for so long as we permit, and it appears permanent. Long ago the house realized and recorded for internal purposes that humans by nature will consistently act upon the full suite of untruths due largely to the interruption of knowledge transfer that occurs between the generations in each household, community and other collectives and moreover the gaps between events in an indivudual’s life when the brain smoothes out the harsh lessons life teaches. A cabal figured out our exploitable attributes as well as how to perpetuate their own houses. We exist in The Matrix but there will be no rebellion, rather, the whole thing we formerly called “western civilization” will just melt down under its own weight and the cabal reinstate itself arching quietly over whatever follows. How do we reprogram normies?

  28. Z-man, you went over this before—at least partially—when you spoke of monetizing social capital. You should modify your posting with a reference to that article for the record. It had an excellent example and was a concept that I had not understood until you explained it.

    The concept of economic activity vs prosperity is still a bit fuzzy to me as with the example of the workman building a mansion. The laborer (IMO) is not made less prosperous by such employment, or any employment, iff he is paid a sufficient wage to live decently upon and put a few dollars aside for the future of himself and his family.

    What we seem to have in this era of globalism is a suppression of wages in the face of worldwide labor competition (and to a lesser extent, competition wrt regulation, e.g., environmental standards). Thus folk are having a harder time in the US trading their labor for an adequate living style. For too many, the reward for a hard day’s labor is to survive for another day only to repeat such tomorrow and tomorrow—until you break down and are discarded. This seems a great leap backward to a long past feudal era.

    What we have today is a society that increasingly rewards products of the mind rather than manual labor. From HBD, we know that ability of the mind is not distributed equally across people—vast swaths increasingly being unable to sell such in the marketplace for a decent living—and the situation is getting worse, not better, despite all of our new college “graduates”.

    That being said, we are paying for this “obsolete human capital” one way or another. As you hinted at, social degradation is one way. Another of course is welfare. I believe it was Reagan that said the best welfare was a job. I agree, there is dignity in work, none in welfare. If that means higher prices, then so be it.

    • Yeah, the example of building a mansion is a very poor one.

      The mansions built are physical capital that will last for a long period of time (requiring maintenance – ie work for somebody) along the way. They increase the housing stock in some small way, which will improve everyone’s housing over time.

      A case can be made that the mansions are going to sit empty and unused by absentee owners, while other people are forced into hovels – which is an example of extreme wealth inequality, but that’s not the point he attempted to make.

      • This is a classic libertarian mistake. “Hey, the cost of the land and materials is real wealth!” No, those mansions are stranded costs. In time, they will be knocked over or fall over. They are the result of pointless activity.

        That story is a modern example of the broken window fallacy.

        • When 100 acres of good farmland are developed into a luxury home tract with the name ‘Rolling Farms Valley’ or whatever the post-modern generator comes up with, you end up with 100 acres less of good farmland, increased stress on public utilities, chemically-treated lawns cut by Mexicans, and massive, badly-built homes that in fifty years time will be a slum. All driven by the fact that 30ish yuppies with families have been taught that you can’t live proper lives in houses under 4,000 sq ft and without 3-car garages. It’s all senseless in my opinion, but it’s prosperity I guess, at least for now.

          • I find it interesting that fertile and productive farmland is readily plowed over for development, while “fragile” desert is protected and off limits. In fact I remember a case were some farmland was condemmed by the city (because the owner didn’t want to sell) to build a school. Farmland generates far less property tax than homes and office buildings.

          • I live in one of those production homes (not quite 4k Sq ft but not tiny). The crazy thing is that it was only just a little bit more expensive than than the crappy 70s split-level that’s falling apart in the same school district. Yes there are excesses, but it’s not as cut and dried as we like to think. Most folks in the neighborhood take care of their own lawns and homes. Houses, like all material goods, are *consumed*, just on a slower pace so we pretend to call it an “investment”. I once owned a 1918 victorian style home in an little suburb town and got it cheaply (except for the insane property tax). Even with a super efficient furnace I installed it still cost an arm and a leg to heat and cool the place. The “upgrades” that were made to it over the years had made it slightly more livable but then there was the random asbestos tile I found under the carpets on the 2nd floor, and the complete lack of closets…

        • @Zman
          “This is a classic libertarian mistake. ‘Hey, the cost of the land and materials is real wealth!’ ”

          Not true.

          The libertarian position says nothing about the cost of the land or materials, unless by “cost” you mean the price in units of currency, in which case it should be determined absent coercion or fraud by agreement between a willing buyer and seller for mutual benefit.

          The land and materials themselves, not their cost, are tangible or “real” resources than can be enjoyed in their natural state, used to produce goods, or simply held as a store of value for future use.

          Furthermore, libertarian thought and Austrian econmics emphasizes that value is not intrinsic but imputed – subjective, shall we say – even for historic metrices such as gold, fiat paper, cattle, or farmland.

          Finally, the libertarians have always been the first to point out the broken window fallacy.

          You may criticize libertarians for other reasons, such as their reticence to support Whitey’s legitimate ethno-racial interests, especially with respect to their own explicity libertarian principles such as right of self-detemination and freedom of association and its corollary, freedom of disassociation or secession.

          But your comment regarding how we should define wealth, prosperity, and welfare misrepresents libertarian thought.

    • Compsci said,
      “The concept of economic activity vs prosperity is still a bit fuzzy to me as with the example of the workman building a mansion. The laborer (IMO) is not made less prosperous by such employment, or any employment, iff he is paid a sufficient wage to live decently upon and put a few dollars aside for the future of himself and his family.”

      Its activity for activity’s sake, building welfare housing for muslim refugees would be just as good if not better economically. The point is neither increases the intangible prosperity of the community, the social capital or what have you. The owners of these empty mansions don’t add anything to the community, they’re not neighbors.

      That the workers who built them got paid is beside the point. Yes it allows the workers to cover their costs of living, but that does not increase the prosperity of the community. If anything it highlights the underlying problem: the need for constant economic activity. In our modern economy, money must be constantly changing hands even as it’s value decreases therefore nothing can remain unchanged. Land must be developed, the old replaced with the new and all of us kept in constant motion , kept on the treadmill , to keep the whole thing going.

      • i’m still not getting it. The mansion is commissioned by a rich person. He has a right to spend money he earned in any legal pursuit. But let’s skip the rich guy for a moment as he gets complicated fast and soon we’re taking about Zuckerbergs. Let‘s talk about the workmen. Let’s say they receive a fair wage for their labor. That wage goes back to the immediate community in the form of taxes, purchases, larger and better families going to schools funded through such taxes and the like. How is the community and the workman less prosperous because some rich fuck built a mansion, or a boat, or an airplane?

        Now if the government funded the mansion with money extorted through taxes, that’s a different story. Or the rich SOB has monetized some aspect of social capital and sold it, then we have a problem with his source of income coming by beggaring his neighbor. But that problem is not one of spending his money in hedonistic or vain glorious pursuit.

        • The rich guy has the right to spend his money how he chooses regardless of how he got it. Individual rights, or really any rights, is not the issue. The issue is what Z calls prosperity which is a more intangible wealth, its social cohesion, its art and music, its history, its those things that define a people in their own minds. Mansions built for tax deductions add nothing to this, people won’t look back from old age fondly reminiscing about some rich foreigners’ tax deductions.

          This article isn’t about an isolated issue, it’s highlighting another symptom of an overall bad system built on inhuman values and how the journalism covering it is misrepresenting it.

    • “What we have today is a society that increasingly rewards products of the mind rather than manual labor”

      I refer to the present period as the great “monetization of apps”

    • This seems a great leap backward to a long past feudal era.

      If only. The feudal era was not nearly as bad as enlightened moderns portray – there were mutual obligations between serf and lord, and serf had more time to himself and no “busy work”.

  29. By giving up manufacturing at home, we destroyed the greatest example of prosperity vs activity, small town America. Everyone who is old in small town America always reminisces about how beautiful their town use to be, how everyone was employed with honor and dignity, despite not being very wealthy, how safe and sacred it was, and that people cared about each other. I can assure you, no one is talking today about how much better it is because they can buy cheaper TV’s and $5.00 rotisserie chickens, those things only sedate their anger and sadness.

    • There’s nothing preventing people from moving back to small towns in retirement – in fact come are doing so. And yet, most people do not. Urbanization, people leaving small towns for the big city, is a centuries long phenomenon, with ups and downs in decades long cycles. It’s a cultural trend, and as Z likes to say, economics is downstream from culture.

    • People worked to live and lived to work. It seems not a bad arrangement the more we are experience what living without work is or at make-work, and the women at make-work not working at home.

      • One thing I notice in successful white people is their eagerness to emphasize how busy they are; it’s a point of pride, and an always-handy rationalization. Ah, dear boy, would love to read the book you recommended – always value your taste – but there is no time.

        Right. In an age of labor-saving technology everyone is too busy to attend to the claims of the soul that were to be freed precisely by those labor-saving technologies. Weird, huh?

        I know people who – literally – have more cars than books. God bless ’em. They’ve done well, except for the broken marriages, the necessary antidepressants, the kids “with issues”; they are busy at being – or serving – the masters of the known universe and that keeps one occupied, no doubt.

        They don’t just walk down an old railroad bed, they ride it on their $1000 trail bikes, with $500 of fashionable biking gear, often accompanied by their similarly-accoutered family, with the family dog – and no ordinary dog either but a costly breed with papers – named ‘Stella’ or ‘Otto’.

        I’m all for white people, but around here they’re kind of scary.

        • At least half of White people are beyond saving – utterly brainwashed by ed/media, virtue-signalling churchians raising their daughters as privileged slut princesses. There will never be grand crusade of people reinstating cultural norms and righting the ship of state. Most People Are Idiots . . . .x 1000000000. Those who hope for some sort of redoubt will need to rely on a hardened core, who have the fortitude to jettison the useless before they swamp everything. You cannot save everyone – or even most – and put the few who might make it at risk if you try.

    • YouTube, “Blazey American Farmer”. Slightly over the top and aspirational, but look at all we have lost in the process of getting more material wealth. (BTW, the Blazeys later made out when their 800 acre farm was sold off to be redeveloped into the Finger Lakes race track).

      • Thanks! I live ten miles from said track and look forward to watching this.

  30. A speech by Robert Kennedy delivered 3 months before he was assassinated:

    University of Kansas, March 18, 1968

    “Even if we act to erase material poverty, there is another greater task, it is to confront the poverty of satisfaction – purpose and dignity – that afflicts us all.

    Too much and for too long, we seemed to have surrendered personal excellence and community values in the mere accumulation of material things. Our Gross National Product, now, is over $800 billion dollars a year, but that Gross National Product – if we judge the United States of America by that – that Gross National Product counts air pollution and cigarette advertising, and ambulances to clear our highways of carnage.

    It counts special locks for our doors and the jails for the people who break them. It counts the destruction of the redwood and the loss of our natural wonder in chaotic sprawl.

    It counts napalm and counts nuclear warheads and armored cars for the police to fight the riots in our cities. It counts Whitman’s rifle and Speck’s knife, and the television programs which glorify violence in order to sell toys to our children.

    Yet the gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education or the joy of their play. It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages, the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials.

    It measures neither our wit nor our courage, neither our wisdom nor our learning, neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country, it measures everything in short, except that which makes life worthwhile.

    And it can tell us everything about America except why we are proud that we are Americans.

    If this is true here at home, so it is true elsewhere in world.”

      • My normie-Con self hated the Kennedys en masse. Based-me appreciates J&R a bit more now. They we’re not pozzed.

      • And despite the high-sounding rhetoric, Robert Kennedy was accusing Whites of measuring prosperity without concern for ghetto Negroes. No f^%^ks to give – for either Kennedy or his pet poverty pimps.

    • My God, how the pozzed party has mutated in values.

      I used to go to to infuse some real economic sense into the government bs reports. The average American, even those on the right, aren’t going to sacrifice in the slightest for their own betterment. Amazon all the way baby and cheap Mexican labor.

      Virtue signaling is easier.

      • Real change in the behavior of Bezos could occur if no white American bought anything from Amazon for one week. We can’t even manage to make that “sacrifice”.

    • “Yet the gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education or the joy of their play. It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages, the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials.”

      Read that and weep

    • But even then, GDP counted money for a hit man to stuff sleeping pills down Marilyn Monroe’s throat. The Kennedys were thugs, the Clintons of their day. JFK had less integrity than just about anyone, feeling up some woman on barbiturates after injecting speed. A reckless man, and Bobby was the same. The only difference today is that mass communications shows politicians’ shortcomings in real time. I think that’s a good thing.

      • Hard to quibble with your take on the Kennedys. Still, it’s a measure of what has been lost that in 1968 even cynics like RFK found it necessary and politically useful to sing the praises of decent, family-based patriotism. The Past is indeed a foreign country.

      • Still that’s the sort of speech would never be said today by anyone in office. No conservative would ever say things like that.

        And if spoken today it would mostly fall on deaf ears.

        • Heck, he’d have been laughed off the stage – at a CPAC convention, never mind the Dems.

    • Nice that he chose to read that speech. If he and John had lived long lives they would both be reading speeches written by Teddy’s writers instead. Family of fakes.

      • Total fakes. Notice, even then the vacuous emotive nature of the speech without ANY ideas of how to counter the problem. The more things change, the more they stay the same. One thing I won’t miss about baby boomers, as they shuffle off the mortal coil, is their reverence for dead deified 1960’s people.

        • Precisely, JR. All Kennedys relied on soaring rhetoric (from their speechwriters, not themselves) to stir emotions. But words are not actions, and they damned themselves by their deeds. They were the early versions of neocons – a hawkish foreign policy (even though the recucklicrats accused them of being soft on commies) plus a social policy which consisted of liberal truisms and illusory numinous Negroes.

    • The Kennedys were a very mixed bag. They weren’t the creatures of Wall Street nor the Tribe though they often accommodated them. They accrued power through the rough and tumble of the prohibition inanity. They considered Blacks a lower form of life yet used them as a political tool against average whites…and yet they still managed to both get assassinated. There had to be a lot more going on for things to have gotten to that point.

      Ted was a tragic figure. The youngest of 4 brothers he saw his oldest brother die in battle and the other two assassinated. The runt of the litter then turned to skirt chasing and booze. He spent the rest if his life parroting whatever he was being spoonfed. No fight in him no nobility, yet understandable.

      They left behind a lot of ‘ifs’. Life at the center of power in an empire isn’t a stroll through a park. They were born to white world and had one foot still fighting for team white. They were Irish-Catholic outsiders who had muscled their way into the WASP-Jewish alliance and who often found themselves in conflict with that alliance. It’s probably what got them both killed. Dismissing them as merely grifters and thugs is a gross oversimplification. There was some of that but there was also a lot more going on as well.

      • Great comment. Joe, John, and Robert were a hard act to follow, and Ted – for all his inadequacy and lack of character – found himself in shoes he couldn’t fill. He did his best, contributing mightily to the destruction of the country that alone made him one of nature’s blessed and fortunate children. Yet I don’t think he hated our country, as do his inheritors in the Left today… I know for a fact that he loved baseball, which is always a plus in my book – except maybe Castro, but even there…

        When Ted went down to cancer at the age of 76, I was glad he was gone, but even I, heartless right-winger that I am, didn’t want him to suffer – I just wanted him gone. My views of our current tormentors – Schumer comes to mind – are less sympathetic.

        • Ted like so many other leftists, past and present, never loved America. He loved the “idea” of what America “could become” which was not America, but some post America Trotskyite fantasyland. This is natural for someone who had his meal ticket punched at birth. If he loved America, he wouldn’t have done what he did in the Senate, as he parked himself there like an old turd. In the end he was angry at a country that would never let him fail, even at the point of driving off a bridge with some drunk skank in the back seat.

          The only good thing about cancer is that it takes Senators too.

      • They were absolutely grifters and thugs. They remind me of the biblical saying “the sins of the father are lived upon the sons.” The old man was pure evil.
        They are an absolute outcropping of the WASP overreach with prohibition, that enriched all kinds of bad actors who used that money to buy influence in subsequent decades. No different than the Escobar family gaining power. Ted was merely the most overindulged and least disciplined of the bunch, as the youngest are.

        That being said, LBJ was worse on nearly all counts.

        • LBJ and his ‘lady love’ were indeed foul people, but they were visionaries of the new way of doing things. They controlled Texas through the control of local and regional TV. As regards sexual degeneracy, LBJ – according to the sources known to me – was right up there with Kennedy and Clinton. His Lady Love had degeneracies of her own, so it was a good match. Perversion + desire for power = match made in heaven.

          Say what you will about the comically terrible president James Carter – still alive, apparently – he wasn’t typical of our Democratic Party presidents. He actually has morals. He’s 117 now, still driving nails at Habitat for Humanity sites, but he’s my favorite Dem president since Grover Cleveland.

        • Old Joe Kennedy did not get rich bootlegging during Prohibition. He got rich as a producer in the movie business, which is full of corrupt, decadent people. That’s where his sons were corrupted. The Old Man provided his sons with all the cheap actresses they wanted.

        • You need to go lookup the definition of WASP.

          Living in MA – my first few decades were chock full of Kennedy worship. I was damn glad when Teddy died and happy to be rid of him – because I knew that would finally start putting an end to the Kennedy cult of worship. JFK Jr. spiraling into the sea a few years before put an end to any expectation there was going to be follow-on generation of Kennedys worthy of fealty.

          The Kennedys are of Irish descent. That means they are not S but C. They were also Catholics – which means they’re not P – but rather C.

          The Kennedys are WACCs – not WASPs.

          From what I remember of my American history – the true WASPs did not welcome the Papists with open arms.

    • You’re right. This is a central question, maybe the central question. Material wealth vs. spiritual/community wealth.

      We’re selling our souls and our posterity for a few baubles and a pat on the head from people who hate us.

      • Amen Brother which is why I advocate for building Communities for people like us… Which would benefit us greatly now and more in the future…

        • Amen brother squared! The more like-minded brains to pick from, the better.

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