Blood Sucker Economy

Last week brought news that the iconic restaurant chain Red Lobster has filed for bankruptcy protection and has started closing locations. The chain is mostly known for being a cheap night out for people in the suburbs and businessmen stuck near a suburban business park. The people hired to write about business for regime media, people who know nothing about business, have rolled with the usual lines about how casual dining was devastated by the pandemic.

The joke online is that Red Lobster’s all you can eat shrimp deal cost them millions because diversity would sit there for hours eating shrimp. The restaurant admits it was a disaster for them, but the real reason the chain has failed is that it was taken over by gangsters who made it into a bust-out. The gangsters in this case are private equity investors who bought up the chain. This bankruptcy is part of fleecing the dumb money that still remains trapped in the enterprise.

The way these scams work is the private investors swoop in and buy a property that is asset rich but cash poor. That is, they have things of value, but those things are not generating enough revenue to meet expenses. Sometimes the enterprise is profitable but needs cash to expand or maybe reorganize itself to shed poorly performing assets and expand into more profitable areas. Private equity comes in with attractive terms and an army of experts to reshape the enterprise.

In reality, they usually sell the assets in deals that have the buyer lease back the asset to the company in order to raise quick cash. Other times the asset is pledged as collateral in a similar sort of debt arrangement. The result is the enterprise quickly raises cash to pay the investors with a healthy profit but is left stripped of its assets and often holding a lot of debt. This is what happened here. The new investors sold the real estate in lease-back deals that are now expiring.

It is a good example of how so much of our economic output is just moving money around in circles. It is the old joke about a stranger coming into a little town to rent a room for the night. Nothing of value has been created by investors buying up this restaurant chain. It simply became a vehicle for them to lure in new money to pay them a profit for their investment, while all along knowing that the end result would be these new investors getting a haircut in bankruptcy proceedings.

The argument in favor of this sort of dealing is that all of the parties involved are sophisticated enough to know the risks. The real estate investors that bought the properties and then leased them back knew the risks or at least they should have known the risks, as it is their business to know the risks. This is all true, but it obscures the fact that this is not genuine economic activity. This is not how an economy should function, but it is the core of the American economy now.

This is not without consequences. Travelers now have to check out the type of plane they could be boarding, because Boeing planes are falling apart. As with Red Lobster, the blame is placed on diversity, which is not entirely without merit, but the real culprit is the vulture capitalism that has come to define elite economics. Boeing is no longer in the business of building better airplanes. It is in the business of creating financial transactions for the benefit of the investor class.

What we see with Boeing has been happening with the military industrial complex for the last three decades. They are no longer in the business of building practical weapons that can be used by the American military. Instead, they are in the business of creating complex transactions for the benefit of insiders and investors. One result is an F-35 fleet that looks great parked at an air field, but it is too dangerous to fly. Meanwhile, Russia and China make weapons for war, not investor profit.

A root of this growing problem in the American economy is the notion that anything that can be shown to turn a profit is normatively good. The usual suspects are going to ruin the town of Harpers Ferry with a development project that will make them money, but come at the expense of the residents. They can do this because they went to the state and showed it will turn a profit, so everyone fell in line. No doubt promises of insider access to those profits were included in the pitch.

The reason profit is a good thing in an economy is it is supposed to spur innovation that results in new products and greater efficiency. Profit is a means to an end, not an end in itself from a macroeconomic perspective. When profit or the quest for profit results in planes falling from the sky or communities being harvested for their social capital, then profit or the quest for profit is bad for society. It is why we used to hunt down and punish corruption and fraud. Note we no longer do that.

An economy is about making things, fixing things, and inventing things, which is no longer the way to get rich in America. Instead, as Peter Theil explained in his book, the path to wealth is finding a way to game the system. You find a flim-flam like the Red Lobster scam or you game government to let you make electric cars that no one needs or wants. The blood sucker economy is not about making things, fixing things, and inventing things. It is about robbing the people who do those things.


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Jack Dobson
Jack Dobson
28 days ago

I have no ethical, religious, moral or sentimental attachment to capitalism. Yet I have to acknowledge it is usually the most successful economic system because it is realistic about people’s weaknesses and strengths. Then something like the Harpers Ferry story appears and reminds me that capitalism is woefully inadequate to deal with the weaknesses and strengths at times. The Harpers Ferry carve-out also reveals something painfully true about so-called “Red States.” The Republicans who run them are greedy and venal and more than willing to usurp local autonomy and transfer it to the state when money is involved. It doesn’t… Read more »

btp
Member
Reply to  Jack Dobson
28 days ago

Nobody feels like they have any skin in the game, as they say. In this case, the game is the welfare of the people, and a nation run by foreigners, unmarried hags, sodomites, Jews, and the hyper-violent underclass cannot possibly give a damn about the nation.

It is the reason why other models of social organization are almost aways to be preferred, though the American mind rebels against conceiving anything like an alternative. Sad, but many such cases.

Jack Dobson
Jack Dobson
Reply to  btp
28 days ago

Those Red State politicians I referenced almost all are straight white males and they have no less compunction about screwing over their own people than the alien elites/zoo freaks. It ultimately is the system is fatally flawed, in part due to how it predictably evolved.

btp
Member
Reply to  Jack Dobson
28 days ago

When you are in a bust-out phase, there is no option except to behave as if you are in a bust-out phase. You see where I’m going with this, I trust.

Jack Dobson
Jack Dobson
Reply to  btp
28 days ago

It was true even before the looting accelerated.

Steve
Steve
Reply to  btp
28 days ago

A perfectly valid option is, was, and ever shall be local, local, local.

If you base your business on solid principles and avoid debt, it’s pretty hard for the banksters to exploit you.

You still face the problem cited here, where government refuses to protect citizens’ property rights. Don’t know what you can do about that except maybe don’t let those “investors” get their foot in the door in the first place.

Jannie
Jannie
Reply to  Steve
28 days ago

Boycott, boycott, boycott, too. E.g. look for Mom & Pop restaurants when on the road and avoid the corporate slop-monsters.

Jack Dobson
Jack Dobson
Reply to  Jannie
28 days ago

Absolutely. They took a hit, often fatal, during Covid but those diners are on the rise as fast food is on the way down now. People will eat actual food whenever the herd can’t stampede to some McVomit place.

TempoNick
TempoNick
Reply to  Jack Dobson
28 days ago

The price has gotten too high. Somebody posted a picture of a receipt from five guys. Two burgers, one large fry and two drinks almost 40 bucks.

pyrrhus
pyrrhus
Reply to  TempoNick
28 days ago

The Big Mac meal is now $18, and headed upward…

steve w
steve w
Reply to  pyrrhus
28 days ago

I admit to liking the sausage macmuffin with egg, and MacD’s coffee. When on the road I’ll buy their 2 for $5 deal on the sandwiches, pay $1.39 for their medium coffee (vs 3.49 at Dunkin’), saving the second macmuffin for a late morning snack or even lunch. I am not trying to defend MacDonalds per se or deny that inflation in meals isn’t real. Just reporting the facts as I experience them. As for a real sit-down breakfast at our favorite local family restaurant, my wife and I now pay $40 for what I consider to be a $20-25… Read more »

Last edited 28 days ago by steve w
Hi-ya!
Hi-ya!
Reply to  pyrrhus
27 days ago

When I was in high school in the mid /late 80s the father of a girl in my class owned a bunch of McDonald. Her house was in the newer boars head club rather than the old money Farmington. She had Ms Pac-Man like Ricky Schroeder but there was this bowl of coupons for Big Macs. We would grab a handful on our way out . Machiavelli says that men don’t know if their times are really better or worse that olden times. He hoped that he was not misjudging when he claims that his times worse than Ancient Rome.… Read more »

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  Jannie
28 days ago

The iron rule of economic life in AINO is, “the bigger, the worse.” What I mean by that is that the larger the business/corporation, the more evil it is. The reason this is true is that once a small business becomes successful enough to get on Wall Street’s radar, the Manhattan vampires show up and money-whip generally wholesome and decent owners into selling. Once that happens, the business in question becomes a part of AINO’s power structure with all the depravity, deceitfulness and criminality that entails. This being the case, when you have an option to do business with companies… Read more »

TempoNick
TempoNick
Reply to  Ostei Kozelskii
28 days ago

It’s pretty funny how often their model fails. We had a beloved grocery chain here called Big Bear. It was a regular supermarket, but more along the lines of target. They were known for having the best meat, they even have their own cattle farm. East coast banksters bought it and sold off everything that made Big Bear successful and jacked up prices to East Coast levels. (East Coast pricing does not work in the Midwest.) I forget how many years they were able to string it along, but eventually they had to shut the chain down. But I’m sure… Read more »

Pozymandias
Reply to  TempoNick
28 days ago

I don’t think that’s very surprising. If you pay your workers well, sell high quality goods at reasonable prices, and avoid ripping off vendors you’re probably NEVER going to be the most profitable. The recipe for a hyper-profitable business is simple – outsource labor and materials costs to the worst turd-world shithole you can find, slow pay or no-pay the vendors, and jack the prices up like they’re a monster truck.

Steve
Steve
Reply to  Pozymandias
28 days ago

I’m guessing you do not run your own business?

I mean, how hard can it be to not hire employees, buy shit off Ali Baba and Fiverr, and bill the customer at 1000% markup?

I’d buy your book if that worked…

Bourbon
Bourbon
Reply to  Ostei Kozelskii
28 days ago

Ostei Kozelskii: “The iron rule of economic life in AINO is, “the bigger, the worse.” What I mean by that is that the larger the business/corporation, the more evil it is. The reason this is true is that once a small business becomes successful enough to get on Wall Street’s radar, the Manhattan vampires show up and money-whip generally wholesome and decent owners into selling. Once that happens, the business in question becomes a part of AINO’s power structure with all the depravity, deceitfulness and criminality that entails.” As a counterexample to your thesis, yesterday Business Insider had a fascinating… Read more »

Tars Tarkas
Tars Tarkas
Reply to  Steve
28 days ago

I’m not sure most can avoid debt. The fact is, most business ventures, including restaurants need a lot of money up front. You need a building, you need to renovate it, you need lots of equipment and you need to start paying staff right in the beginning. Something like Red Lobster needs even more money because their business is based on lots and lots of Red Lobster restaurants.

Steve
Steve
Reply to  Tars Tarkas
28 days ago

Or one could try the method that’s worked throughout time — live on less than you earn until you can afford to go into business for yourself.

Broken record, here, government is making that much more difficult than it need be, particularly with zoning and business licenses and whatnot, but if a first gen Thai couple can pull it off…

Arshad Ali
Arshad Ali
Reply to  Tars Tarkas
28 days ago

Absolutely. The economic and financial system is structured in a way that encourages vampires. A decomposing carcass attracts maggots. The system of centralized money and the associated system of credit creation lead inevitably to this soulless and nihilistic capitalism. I could use a stiff drink ….

Steve
Steve
Reply to  Arshad Ali
28 days ago

There’s a simple answer to that @Arshad. Don’t hop onto the mouse wheel. The vampires work for you if you are a net saver. Once you have enough saved up, go for it.

Assuming you are not near retirement, there should be some major fire sales in the business world over the next few. Be in a position to take advantage of it.

Or go blow your paycheck on rotgut. Your choice.

Robbo
Robbo
Reply to  Tars Tarkas
28 days ago

True. I never understand why anyone would go into the restaurant business. The margins are incredibly tight. One bump on the road sees you bankrupt. 250 years ago, restaurants didn’t exist. People ate at home or at friends.

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  Robbo
28 days ago

I thought about it very hard, but two things stayed my hand. First, the red tape required for starting a restaurant, even in Texas, is absolutely insane. Second, I don’t like the idea of having to police my own employees, making sure they’re not dipping their duke into the tambourine when they think nobody’s watching. All in all, just not worth the hassle and headaches to me.

Pozymandias
Reply to  Ostei Kozelskii
28 days ago

Keeping the semen content of the soup low is a major hassle.

cg2
cg2
Reply to  Pozymandias
27 days ago

Well, I first thought to upvote cause its funny, but then I thought to downvote cause its disgusting and possibly true. Think I’ll just leave it alone

Pozymandias
Reply to  cg2
27 days ago

I didn’t think of the joke actually. It’s something Tyler Durden says in Fight Club.

Tars Tarkas
Tars Tarkas
Reply to  Ostei Kozelskii
28 days ago

Meanwhile, Pedro runs a “Mexican Restaurant” in his house/ backyard, no L&I, no taxes, no inspectors and a port-a-poty in the back corner of his yard etc, at least according to VDH. A perfect example of Anarcho-tyranny.

Steve
Steve
Reply to  Tars Tarkas
28 days ago

Perfect example of capitalism! If people want to take the risk of food poisoning, that’s on them.

Everyone else can look for the license on the wall if he really believes government does an outstanding job on health issues. *Cough* COVID *cough*

Last edited 28 days ago by Steve
Tars Tarkas
Tars Tarkas
Reply to  Steve
28 days ago

First, it’s anarcho-tyranny. Second, Pedro’s customers are going to go to the hospital which they won’t pay for should they get food poisoning.

I’m not saying the government does the best job, but that’s what we have. We are subject to all the rules. Pedro shouldn’t even be here, let alone running a restaurant out of his house.

Call it what it is and deport Pedro and his whole damned extended fambly and all his customers and their famblies too..

Steve
Steve
Reply to  Tars Tarkas
28 days ago

It’s only anarcho-tyranny because someone defined that to mean (in this case) that citizens are held to a higher standard than illegals. But why isn’t the problem the business licenses and such in the first place? Is there some benefit obtained by mulcting businessmen for permission to hang out a shingle? How do I as a customer benefit from this system of legalized bribery?

But sure, deport Pedro. Oh, wait. Government isn’t going to do that. They will just clamp down on you.

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  Steve
27 days ago

The benefit is bloody obvious–when you’re licensed you’re subject to health inspections, which provide customers with some peace of mind that they won’t be ingesting rat feces with their mashed potatoes. If you prefer the Third World model of restaurant operation,well…I don’t even want to say.

Steve
Steve
Reply to  Ostei Kozelskii
27 days ago

“Do you think that’s air you are breathing now? Hmm.”

Out here in the real world, government oversight doesn’t have a great track record. I suspect most inspectors are trying to do a good job, the inspections are just too infrequent to catch anything like a bad batch of seafood. At best you might find some systemic issues.

But if you think the same type who handled COVID so well signifies quality, you are free to look for the paper on the wall/door. If I’d rather have a different, competent certification organization, why won’t you allow that?

Last edited 27 days ago by Steve
Steve
Steve
Reply to  Ostei Kozelskii
27 days ago

That’s the false dichotomy I see all the time from Lefties. If we oppose government schools, lefties believe we oppose education. If we oppose national health care, lefties believe we want everyone to be sick. If we oppose gun control, lefties believe we want blood in the streets. And so on.

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  Tars Tarkas
28 days ago

Sounds like the helluva business model. Why didn’t I think of that?

Hi-ya!
Hi-ya!
Reply to  Ostei Kozelskii
27 days ago

It’s must be a certain personality to own/ run restaurants. One I don’t possess

Xman
Xman
Reply to  Robbo
28 days ago

Naaah. C’mon, man. 250 years ago there were plenty of alehouses, taverns and inns.

Yes, you didn’t take the missus and the kids to Chuck–Cheese three times a week, but there were restaurants.

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  Xman
28 days ago

But there are differences. Taverns focus primarily on drink, and inns focus primarily on rooms and beds. Restaurants, sans accomodations and focusing primarily on meals, are a relatively new thing.

Robbo
Robbo
Reply to  Steve
28 days ago

We almost got there: ended up with loco, loco, loco.

pyrrhus
pyrrhus
Reply to  btp
28 days ago

As evidenced by the constant looting of stockholders…If we still had securities laws and enforcement, the last 3 CEOs of Bed Bath and Beyond would be in prison for taking hundreds of millions from the market from their options, while simultaneously ripping the heart out of a formerly thriving business….

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  pyrrhus
28 days ago

It was a bloodbath and beyond…

Xin Loi
Xin Loi
Reply to  btp
28 days ago

Before there was the Constitution, there was the Declaration. The Declaration claims the right to alter or abolish old forms of government and institute new ones to secure the safety and happiness of the people (Look it up!)

Are you safe? Are you happy?

Hi-ya!
Hi-ya!
Reply to  Xin Loi
27 days ago

If ever there was a time…

WillS
WillS
Reply to  Jack Dobson
28 days ago

It seems capitalism ( a market based economy) is a bit like a free society and may only be adequate for a moral society.

The current bugger grandma for gains business environment brought to us via the financialization of the economy can only end in a failed system hallowed out by the bankers.

This will only get worse.

Last edited 28 days ago by WillS
Steve
Steve
Reply to  WillS
28 days ago

Both stories are about government intervention, in the Red Lobster, even the idea of creating the legal fiction of a living thing with rights called Red Lobster, LLC or whatever it identifies as, and the Harper’s Ferry story about state preemption of what is legitimately a matter of subsidiarity.

The whole vile financialization story is one government intervention after another with the effect, if not the intent, to destroy traditional America.

3g4me
3g4me
Reply to  Steve
28 days ago

Steve: This. Local greed, ambition, and short sightedness, aided and abetted by rootless vulture capitalist financiers and, as always, exacerbated by diversity.

WillS
WillS
Reply to  Steve
28 days ago

Brought to us by K Street and our fine corporations. CEO logic, “the next quarter is all that matters”.

Steve
Steve
Reply to  WillS
28 days ago

CEO logic, “the next quarter is all that matters”.

Mock it all you like, but unfortunately, once you get on the mouse wheel, that’s pretty close to the truth. That’s when the tax bill is due, that’s when the investors want to see the reports. What happens a year out is still a year away.

It’s not shortsightedness if you are focusing on the most important time horizon for your business. Want to encourage a longer time horizon? Change the system, so incentives align with lower time preference.

Or keep shouting at clouds. Whatever works for you.

WillS
WillS
Reply to  Steve
28 days ago

It’s not a right/wrong argument. It’s a wrong perspective timeline. Thinking 5 years out should be the minimum. The current system selects poorly and it doesn’t work well. The system is broken or just stupid.
The board is supposed to think long term and keep CEO in check.

Last edited 28 days ago by WillS
Steve
Steve
Reply to  WillS
27 days ago

I agree it would be nice if CEOs of publicly traded firms took a longer view of things. (In a privately held firm, he can. He can afford to Blue Sky things for decades into the future.) But investors are not noted for patience. If you don’t perform this quarter, market cap is going to plunge, and someone else will be CEO within a year’s time anyway.

But not even boards of directors serve any business purpose anymore. It’s all about virtue signaling.

herrman
herrman
Member
Reply to  Jack Dobson
28 days ago

Ruling structures axiomatically attract people who will game the system for their own benefit. They rarely have any considerations for the downstream effects of those actions. I moved from Idaho (a “good” red state) to Michigan ( a “no-good” bluish state). The level of corruption is about the same. In Idaho it’s the good old boy network of big business and large landowners selling out the population to carpetbagging land speculators. In Michigan it’s corrupt leftists selling out their populations to foreigners for a bite of the grift. The solution is a government structure that severely binds the hands of… Read more »

Jack Dobson
Jack Dobson
Reply to  herrman
28 days ago

Jefferson was onto something.

LineInTheSand
LineInTheSand
Reply to  herrman
28 days ago

Hermann, why did you leave Idaho?

herrman
herrman
Member
Reply to  LineInTheSand
28 days ago

Wanted a small farm, way too expensive now in Idaho. Moved to the UP, love it.

WillS
WillS
Reply to  herrman
28 days ago

Snow….yeah.

Marko
Marko
Reply to  Jack Dobson
28 days ago

Capitalism, like every other -ism and -cracy, works when the host population is high-trust and K-selected.

Red Lobster is prole shit. I am not sad that they got pirated, and maybe that’s what vulture capitalists are for. Now do it for Applebee’s.

Jack Dobson
Jack Dobson
Reply to  Marko
28 days ago

Even with high trust societies and K-selected folks, a tight leash has to be kept on capitalism. The robber barons existed in an 85 percent white society although they were pikers compared to today’s version. Something about the system brings out the inner Dindu/Tribe member even in our people.

Steve
Steve
Reply to  Jack Dobson
28 days ago

Robber barons get a bad rap because Progressives write the history books, so naturally do not distinguish between entrepreneurs and political entrepreneurs.

political entrepreneur succeeds primarily by influencing government to subsidize his business or industry, or to enact legislation or regulation that harms his competitors.

https://mises.org/mises-daily/truth-about-robber-barons

Arshad Ali
Arshad Ali
Reply to  Jack Dobson
28 days ago

Yes, and those robber barons were curbed only because there existed a majority white population at the time.

Steve
Steve
Reply to  Arshad Ali
28 days ago

Have you considered looking into something other than (((Progressive))) history and economics books?

Doesn’t it seem coincidental that every “crisis” calls for a new regulation or tax, to the benefit of (((Progressives)))?

3g4me
3g4me
Reply to  Jack Dobson
28 days ago

Jack: I have to be honest here – I don’t particularly care about Red Lobster specifically (last ate there maybe 35 years ago?) – although I understand how greed and the financialization of social capital undermined it. But the linked story about Harper’s Ferry was like a kick in the gut. Local people stripped of any say in how or where they live all so a few people can make a buck. And always the same excuse “For the schools! For the firefighters!” Always the supposed good of the whole while destroying the very folks who make that whole. It… Read more »

Steve
Steve
Reply to  3g4me
28 days ago

Right. And don’t let it be missed that the principal offender in the Harper’s Ferry atrocity was a Republicunt from Venezuela, one Sen. Patricia Rucker.

I get that is a power the Constitution reserved to the States, but that’s just another reason the Constitution should be abolished before it causes even more destruction.

3g4me
3g4me
Reply to  Steve
28 days ago

Patricia rucker is a Venezuelan married to a black. Harper’s Ferry is 97% White.

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  3g4me
28 days ago

If you’re willing to vote for that, just maybe you deserve the remorseless sodomization you’re sure to receive.

Pozymandias
Reply to  Ostei Kozelskii
28 days ago

I don’t know anything about this Rucker fucker but think I could write a good campaign commercial for her.

Flags wave in the wind… sappy music plays…fade to action shot of the candidate doing something ridiculous like driving a tractor or shucking corn. Then the voice-over starts – “Patricia came to the US with only the designer clothes on her back and a small steamer trunk full of gold coins. She started her political career by winning a local election in Harper’s Ferry after her opponent died mysteriously…”

Salt of the earth these people are.

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  Pozymandias
28 days ago

I’ve got some very special salt to put in her feijoda.

Jack Dobson
Jack Dobson
Reply to  3g4me
28 days ago

The principles and interests of cucks always are principal and interest. I also live in an isolated area although the jurisdiction seems counter-intuitive at first blush until you consider the realities of cuckservatism, which causes rather than outright promotes diversity and other cancerous outgrowths. That leads to an even quicker hell.

Anyone who thinks Republicans are their friends was sorely disappointed when the truth came out about the Tooth Fairy.

Pozymandias
Reply to  Jack Dobson
28 days ago

The principles and interests of cucks always are principal and interest”

This is brilliant!

Jack Dobson
Jack Dobson
Reply to  Pozymandias
28 days ago

Thanks, I’m proud of it.

WillS
WillS
Reply to  Jack Dobson
27 days ago

What is that saying about pride…heady scratchy heady scratchy.

Hemid
Hemid
Reply to  3g4me
28 days ago

The Republican Party, top to bottom, markets itself as a Christian business. I think it’s a rare case of truth in advertising. We just have to remember: The purpose of a Christian business is to rip off Christians.

The purpose of the rest of American business/finance is also to rip off Christians (statistically average Americans), so the normal people of “red” cities/counties/states get doubly screwed by public/private partnerships, eminent domain, etc.

Democrats pay their voters. Republicans steal from them. Principled!

TempoNick
TempoNick
Reply to  Jack Dobson
28 days ago

Larry Schweikert once told me, “Democrats make money to get power; Republicans get power to make money.”

Jack Dobson
Jack Dobson
Reply to  TempoNick
28 days ago

Great line and true.

Pozymandias
Reply to  Jack Dobson
28 days ago

Lot’s of good one-liners today like yours about principle and interest and this one too!

Robbo
Robbo
Reply to  Jack Dobson
28 days ago

Exhibit A: Mitt Romney

Roger's Ranger
Roger's Ranger
28 days ago

The joke in this region for over a decade is to call the place black Lobster. Due to diverse hiring the service is horrible and the customer base for a long time has been composed mostly of “Satan’s charred minions.”

Last edited 28 days ago by Roger's Ranger
Abelard Lindsey
Abelard Lindsey
Reply to  Roger's Ranger
28 days ago

I think DEI is mostly a PR distraction. The PE firms don’t give a shit because they have no intentions of holding the business for very long. So they let HR run things, along with the DEI racket, while the PR firms make their money off of sale of the assets.

Of the two problems, DEI and PE driven financialization of the economy, the latter is far worse for the economy. Boeing suffers much more from the latter than the former.

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  Abelard Lindsey
28 days ago

Which is worse? Pancreatic cancer or septicemic plague? Personally, I’d rather have neither.

ProZNoV
ProZNoV
Reply to  Roger's Ranger
28 days ago

Same customer base causing fast food restaurants to get rid of customer friendly soda fountains.

(It’s diabetes in a cup anyway, so probably for the best)

Marko
Marko
Reply to  ProZNoV
28 days ago

Excuse my selective elitism here, and I am nominally for the working man, but I think we should let these goyslop diabetes chains fall to predation. Let the diversity microwave meals at home.

I live in an area that’s developing rapidly, so of course every other new building that goes up is an Arby’s or Panda Express. And the drive-through is regularly busy. 95% of these people are trash, and I am paying for their emergency room visits.

Jeffrey Zoar
Jeffrey Zoar
Reply to  Marko
28 days ago

I remember back during the plandemic the drive thru line at McDonald’s was always wrapped around the building. The other day when I drove by the place was empty, nobody in line. Middle of the day. Signs of the times.

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  Jeffrey Zoar
28 days ago

One can only hope the golden arches fall.

Steve
Steve
Reply to  Jeffrey Zoar
28 days ago

I used to hit their drive-through for a $1 large iced tea, but now that it’s $2.59? Nazomuch. I’m not alone. There are a lot of people who skip it because it’s $30+ for a couple “value” meals and a “happy” meal.

Marko
Marko
Reply to  Jeffrey Zoar
28 days ago

Mickey Dee’s is always busy when I see it. Personally I’ve seen no slowdown in fast food demand overall. Subway is still busy despite having a horrible cardboard sandwich that was barely tolerable as a $5 footlong, much less a $15 footlong. Frankly I’m surprised that fast food is still going strong, even though it’s not fast and it’s not cheap nourishment.

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  Marko
28 days ago

The footlong BMT on wheat is a dam’ good sandwich. And in my neck of the woods it doesn’t cost anywhere near $15.

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  Roger's Ranger
28 days ago

I haven’t been to a Red Slobster in about 25 years, so I can’t comment on its dieversification, although I certainly don’t doubt it. What I can say, however, is that Popeye’s chicken certainly fits the mold you describe. Now Popeye’s makes some dam’ fine fried chicken, and I used to eat that stuff with some frequency. However, over time Popeye’s workforce became steadily more nuggrafied with the wholly predictable decline in competence ensuing. It got to the point that they were getting my simple order wrong about half the time. So I said screw it and haven’t been to… Read more »

Pozymandias
Reply to  Ostei Kozelskii
28 days ago

There are some restaurants where I long ago got used to the idea that your order was pretty much guaranteed to be correct *in quantity*. The workers had a pretty good idea of how heavy the bag needed to be. Exactly what went into it… Well, not so much.

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  Pozymandias
28 days ago

That works alright at Taco Bell. If, OTOH, you can’t stand dark-meat chicken, it’s no dam’ good.

Tom K
Tom K
Reply to  Roger's Ranger
28 days ago

lyrics from a Beyonce original: When he f*ck me good, I take his ass to Red Lobster, ’cause I slay When he f*ck me good, I take his ass to Red Lobster, we gon’ slay If he hit it right, I might take him on a flight on my chopper, I slay Drop him off at the mall, let him buy some J’s, let him shop up, ’cause I slay I might get your song played on the radio station, ’cause I slay I might get your song played on the radio station, ’cause I slay You just might be… Read more »

Last edited 28 days ago by Tom K
Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  Tom K
28 days ago

We’ve fallen a long, long way since Peggy Lee.

Citizen of a Silly Country
Citizen of a Silly Country
28 days ago

As someone who has gotten to know a fair amount of people in the investing/finance world (not private equity or hedge funds but guys who have boutique ETFs or managed accounts), my thought has always been what a waste of talent. These guys are exactly the kinds of men who in a different generation would have been the engineers and upper management of companies that made real things and/or fixed things. They would have been developing better products, better ways to configure the factory floor, better quality controls, better distribution systems, etc. Instead, they’re moving numbers around to squeeze an… Read more »

Alan Smithee
Alan Smithee
Reply to  Citizen of a Silly Country
28 days ago

It is the same thing in cable programming, which I had occasion to be involved in once upon a time. The intelligence, creativity and all-around human potential that existed below-the-line took me by surprise. Before I encountered them, I thought everyone involved in televsion had to be stupid. This was not the case. In my experience, the only places where stupidity was tolerated was if it was talent or one of the no-show Executive Producers. I would add that the EPs were, as far as I could tell, all Jews. And they showed up where actual work was taking place… Read more »

Guest
Guest
Reply to  Citizen of a Silly Country
28 days ago

The last time I checked, nearly 90% of the engineers graduating from MIT went to work on Wall Street or for hedge funds. Similarly, I can’t blame them, but what a societal waste.

Citizen of a Silly Country
Citizen of a Silly Country
Reply to  Guest
28 days ago

Yep. I’ve met engineers. PhDs in computer science. A bunch of PhDs in finance who could have been engineers or whatever. Mathematicians. Etc. And all of good at applying their brains/knowledge to problems, except its finance problems.

Imagine these guys solving problems that actually help society.

Arshad Ali
Arshad Ali
Reply to  Guest
28 days ago

They can’t get jobs in their fields (engineering, math, physics, comp sci), so they gravitate to areas like quant finance. Just shows what kind of economy and society we now have.

Tars Tarkas
Tars Tarkas
Reply to  Citizen of a Silly Country
28 days ago

This is also a fine way of sucking the top men out of every community in America. It used to be there was a major employer or 2 in most towns, often manufacturing. The top men in the town became upper management and engineering and the bottom men in the town became workers on the production floor. The middle worked the middle of this sector and the service sector in the town. Today, the company town is long gone, the top men move somewhere else and the bottom men either do drugs or sell drugs. The middle work in healthcare,… Read more »

TempoNick
TempoNick
Reply to  Tars Tarkas
28 days ago

Someone else once pointed this out as well. The average small county seat had three or four banks, a couple of car dealerships and other businesses that were locally based, where people who had roots in the community were involved. With consolidation, all those decentralized positions of authority disappeared.

Tars Tarkas
Tars Tarkas
Reply to  TempoNick
28 days ago

Yes. They ripped the heart and soul out of every town, USA. Now the main employers (well, source of income) are the dole in some form, drug sales, “healthcare (also the dole),” corporate retail, lawyers of course, and other low wage stuff. If the town is lucky, maybe there is a prison they can work in. All the money is sucked out of the town. Where before there was a local 5&10, a locally owned gas station, hardware store and other locally owned retail, it’s Family Dollar, maybe a Walmart and Home Depot. A bunch of chain restaurants… Walmart played… Read more »

The Wild Geese Howard
The Wild Geese Howard
Reply to  Citizen of a Silly Country
28 days ago

Citizen-

For most engineers pay tops out pretty fast unless they come up with critical patents, a great idea, or start a company.

This is unlike bankers, doctors, and lawyers, where even the mediocre and below average can do quite well.

Pay engineers more like those other groups and the STEM shortage will mostly solve itself.

Arshad Ali
Arshad Ali
Reply to  The Wild Geese Howard
28 days ago

There is no STEM shortage. Last I heard was that 55% of new Ph.D. Engineers had no jobs — not even a post-doc.

Steve
Steve
Reply to  Arshad Ali
28 days ago

What’s the point of a Ph.D. Engineer? There are not that many research or academic positions.

If I were hiring engineers at the moment (no, I’m not, so don’t send any resumes) I’d think twice about even hiring a Ph.D. for less pay than a B.S., because he obviously knows nothing about optimization, which is kind of the whole point…

Last edited 28 days ago by Steve
Lakelander
Lakelander
Reply to  Citizen of a Silly Country
28 days ago

It is very depressing to think about the number of capable, intelligent young men whose vast potential was diverted towards financial engineering and other rent seeking activities for the ultimate benefit of our enemies. They produce nothing of actual value, don’t improve the national body in any way, but they are rewarded handsomely nonetheless.

The purpose of a system is what it does.

Arshad Ali
Arshad Ali
Reply to  Lakelander
28 days ago

They would have no jobs otherwise. That’s because of the hollowed-out real economy. It’s not their fault.Many financial engineers would happily take a more productive and satisfying job with half the wage. Those jobs aren’t out there.

Jack Boniface
Jack Boniface
Member
28 days ago

Mitt Romney is one of the vultures and is worth $300 million. He’s the last Establishment Republican the party nominated and remains the media’s paragon GOP politician. No wonder people moved to Trump, who, whatever his failings in business ethics, at least put up real buildings.
https://www.celebritynetworth.com/richest-politicians/republicans/mitt-romney-net-worth/

Jack Dobson
Jack Dobson
Reply to  Jack Boniface
28 days ago

Mitt Romney, Sociopath-Hell, just the other day:

We’re involved in the world out of our own self-interest, and I laugh at the phrase “America First.”

A society that encourages a monster like this one richly deserves its fate. The Bolsheviks existed for a reason.

Steve
Steve
Reply to  Jack Dobson
28 days ago

Seems to me Utah has all kinds of anthills they could stake that type down on top of.

Mike
Mike
Reply to  Jack Dobson
28 days ago

I remember back years ago when I still had cable, I would watch Jay Leno’s car show on whatever channel it was on. I always was suspicious of Leno, his nice guy act seemed like a thin veneer over the nasty guy underneath. Anyway, he had Romney on a show showing off some AMC muscle car his son had bought for him. It was a nice example of that era’s cars but he knew nothing about it and it obviously meant nothing to him except it was a thing he owned, no sentimental value as a gift from his son… Read more »

Jack Dobson
Jack Dobson
Reply to  Mike
28 days ago

There’s no there there with comedians quite often. Johnny Carson in the States and Peter Sellers in the UK reportedly were bland, blank slates when not performing. Is it Romney-liked sociopathy? Maybe.

TempoNick
TempoNick
Reply to  Jack Dobson
28 days ago

Romney is great on the radio. Some of his interviews with Sean Hannity back in 2012 were great. If only he could show that that charisma in other venues. But then again, these consultants also coach these candidates to always play it close to the vest. That’s why they all come across as boring and monotone. I guess people are convinced that this is what the public is looking for in an elected official.

Tars Tarkas
Tars Tarkas
Reply to  TempoNick
28 days ago

Romney is the lowest form of scum. This is a guy who supposedly made his living destroying profitable companies and stealing the pensions of their workers. He went and joined BLM in 2020. He’s all in on Ukraine too. He is the lowest of the low.

mmack
mmack
Reply to  Mike
28 days ago

Anyway, he had Romney on a show showing off some AMC muscle car his son had bought for him. It was a nice example of that era’s cars but he knew nothing about it and it obviously meant nothing to him except it was a thing he owned, no sentimental value as a gift from his son or as an example of a car from his youth or from his father’s company. Irony of irony George Romney was a hard nosed, bottom line focused executive who saved American Motors by cutting the fat and focusing on small, fuel efficient cars.… Read more »

Bourbon
Bourbon
Reply to  Jack Dobson
28 days ago

Can you provide us with an example of a Romanov having deployed such language?

Here’s a counterexample:

comment image

Jack Dobson
Jack Dobson
Reply to  Bourbon
28 days ago

I cannot and can’t even connect the dots since I didn’t reference language.

Bourbon
Bourbon
Reply to  Jack Dobson
28 days ago

Sorry, everything is all out of order now. But back when there were far fewer kkk0mments on the thread, it went something like this: Mitt Romney, Sociopath-Hell: ‘I laugh at the phrase “America First.”’ Jack Dobson: “A society that encourages a monster like this one richly deserves its fate. The Bolsheviks existed for a reason.” And my question was whether you knew of anyone in the Romanov fambly who had ever laughed at, say, the Serfs, or the Kulaks, in the fashion of a Clit Romney, or a Marie “Let them eat cake” Antoinette. It’s possible that there were such… Read more »

Horace
Horace
Reply to  Jack Dobson
28 days ago

“The Bolsheviks existed for a reason.” Yes! I’ve been a fanatic anti-communist since I read Gulag Archipelago when I was 14-15. However, there is simply no question that healthy societies well-run by their ruling classes do not get successfully infested with communists. Every communist regime that succeeded in taking root was preceded by a government where the ruling class was behaving badly enough so that, when the chips were down, their working classes didn’t have their back. Those who currently rule America deserve to be bayoneted in a forest hut then dumped down a mine shaft far more than the… Read more »

RDittmar
Member
Reply to  Jack Boniface
28 days ago

I was going to bring up Mittens as well after reading Z-man’s post. Rombleycare’s alleged career as a “capitalist” proved another big tell as to what a bunch of phonies the cucks were and are. Rombleycare rolls into town with his crew of sharpies and they asset strip businesses – even when those assets are in the form of employee retirement accounts – to give themselves a big payday. To Con., Inc. this meant he was history’s greatest entrepreneur – our generation’s very own Andrew Carnegie. When Trump – a man who actually built his wealth by building things and… Read more »

Ed
Ed
Reply to  Jack Boniface
28 days ago

To this day, I am still ashamed and embarrassed I voted for Romney.

Xman
Xman
Reply to  thezman
28 days ago

“I voted for Ted Kennedy over Willard when I lived in Mass”

I voted for Heinrich Himmler as a write-in candidate in my last local election…

Robbo
Robbo
Reply to  Xman
28 days ago

Did he win?

Xman
Xman
Reply to  Robbo
28 days ago

Nah, it was a protest vote. All the candidates were unopposed…

Spingerah
Spingerah
Reply to  thezman
28 days ago

I sure wish I could say that lol,
The shame. At least I’ll never have to see any Mormon relatives in Utah again. South Park will teach you all you need to know about Mormons.

duttchmn007
duttchmn007
Reply to  Ed
28 days ago

I got you beat; I sent him $400.

I know: schmuck! Wish I’d known his true self then.

Jannie
Jannie
Reply to  duttchmn007
28 days ago

Last 20+ years have been a wake-up call. In 2008 I seriously thought McCain was “America’s Last Hope” to “Save America” from “Communist Manchurian Black Panther” Obama. Then he went to work for Obama and helped found ISIS and the Ukrainian Nazi movement. Ashamed to have voted for him. I should have just sat out 2008.

Vizzini
Member
Reply to  Jannie
28 days ago

You’d think the mask rip-offs for both Bushes, Romney and McCain would be enough to make the Zero GOP argument. Even Trump — his actual four years in office were virtually nothing of what he promised and a big sloppy kiss to blacks and Jews, so I see no reason to think he’ll do any better a second time around. The only reason he amuses me is that for some reason this ’90s moderate Democrat in Republican clothing makes the left so mad.

Brandon Laskow
Brandon Laskow
Reply to  Jannie
28 days ago

I actually drove to Reno NV to campaign for McLame, the only time I ever participated in a political campaign, because I knew how much Obummer sucked with his radical background and he was the farthest thing from a racial healer. At least McLame was an American patriot thus sucked less.

Mike
Mike
Reply to  Brandon Laskow
28 days ago

He seemed to be an American patriot. He wasn’t, he was an evil POS.

Brandon Laskow
Brandon Laskow
Reply to  Mike
28 days ago

Totally. I know better now.

Pozymandias
Reply to  Brandon Laskow
28 days ago

With patriots like McCain and Romney who needs traitors?

Spingerah
Spingerah
Reply to  Jannie
28 days ago

Yup metoo

TempoNick
TempoNick
Reply to  Jack Boniface
28 days ago

In fairness, Romney did create Staples and a few other successes. But yeah, they also ran a junkyard for junk companies.

Spingerah
Spingerah
Reply to  Jack Boniface
28 days ago

Romney, as I recall, one of his sons was in on the Ukraine gift, getting the bucks right along with Hunter when mittens was asked why none of his sons were in the millitary (Iraq at the time) he said his sons were working on his campaigns & that was their contribution. I hope the SOB dies of anal cancer. He is so slimy & to think I actually voted for the POS.

ProZNoV
ProZNoV
28 days ago

Seems like a merger/partnership between Spirit Airlines, Boeing and Red Lobster would’ve been a fantastic opportunity for some real DEI synergy.

Now, we’ll never know. Alas.

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  ProZNoV
28 days ago

Supposedly, one of the key factors in Red Slobster’s bankruptcy was the claws kept falling off their lobsters…

mmack
mmack
Reply to  Ostei Kozelskii
28 days ago

As the old joke about the one clawed lobster went: “Send this one back and give me the winner!”

In My Soup
In My Soup
28 days ago

The Harper’s Ferry story gets an Every Single Time badge.

3g4me
3g4me
Reply to  In My Soup
28 days ago

I thought so initially, but not certain now. Schaufeld’s wife’s maiden name is Shihadeh. Either way, both support feminism, blacks, etc., and dismiss rural heritage Whites as bigoted and stupid.

3g4me
3g4me
Reply to  3g4me
28 days ago

I was wrong to doubt. Schaufeld is Every SIngle Time. Wife must be Mizrahi or Sephardic.

My Comment
My Comment
28 days ago

Americans used to take pride in making things. Now they just take outside in having money no matter how it was gained. I have seen this going on since the 50s. After WW2 American car companies had a huge market opportunity so what did they do? They pushed aside the car guys and turned things over to finance. Quality sank and American cars became a joke. Around 1970 my father worked in quality control at a company that made wallboard (now called sheet rock). He was pushed onto early retirement because he refused to pass bad board as mandated unofficially… Read more »

Last edited 28 days ago by My Comment
PrimiPilus
PrimiPilus
Reply to  My Comment
28 days ago

It’s what I’ve long called “The Storm of Cash.” Seems to me that it’s the primary engine driving everything in our world now … American’s world, that is, maybe even the entire Western world.

WOPR
WOPR
28 days ago

From the Harper’s Ferry article:

Just blocks away from the hotel construction site, Yinching Lin-Chen is frustrated by who she sees as “small town people who don’t want change.” 

See, all true Americans want that resort. The couple from VA pushing this are liberals.

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  WOPR
28 days ago

“All change is change for the worse.”– Saul Bellow

Dr_Mantis_Toboggan_MD
Member
28 days ago

My favorite Jim Morrison quote was “I want to have my kicks before the whole shithouse goes up in flames.” Capitalism always ends in monopoly. I don’t know what other economic system we could use, but I think some of the other commenters might be on to something when they talk about the complete lack of morality of the financial class. I think as this country becomes more diverse and more morally degenerate, the only thing that will hold a lid on it will be a large-scale tyranny that makes our present situation look free in comparison. We need to… Read more »

Steve
Steve
Reply to  Dr_Mantis_Toboggan_MD
28 days ago

Capitalism always ends in monopoly.

Only if the business is truly innovative. Rockefeller invested in research and development, and as a result, was able to sell kerosene at 8 cents per gallon when those using inferior methods were breaking even at 30 cents per gallon.

Most of the time it’s not capitalism that ends in monopoly, but corporatism, where some connected person buys up the right government official(s) and they rule for him or against his competitors.

I know, not what the Progressive history books tell you…

Drive-By Shooter
Drive-By Shooter
Reply to  Dr_Mantis_Toboggan_MD
28 days ago

I don’t know what other economic system we could use

Why do you believe with the Marxists and the libertarians that it’s a matter of all or nothing?

We need to regulate the hell out of Wall Street

Nope. That experiment has been run already.

We need to liquidate Wall Street. Abolishing incorporation of all types is the way forward, and to this we need a thorough system of antizionist restrictions upon all of Jacob’s kids and their zombies. They must be excluded from, at minimum, all participation in banking, lawyering, and accounting.

Dr_Mantis_Toboggan_MD
Member
Reply to  Drive-By Shooter
28 days ago

I would say that the bankers haven’t been regulated at all since they write their own regulations, a classic case of the fox guarding the chicken coop. If you’re a congressman making $130k per year, why wouldn’t you go along with the nice lobbyists from Wall Street with their pre-written “regulations” that preserve their monopolies and freeze out any upstart competitors with excessive compliance costs? There’s little wonder that most people who go to Congress leave their as multi-millionaires.

Xman
Xman
Reply to  Dr_Mantis_Toboggan_MD
28 days ago

 “I don’t know what other economic system we could use”

Well, national socialism was a Third Way between communism and vulture capitalism, but somehow it got a bad name…

Steve
Steve
Reply to  Dr_Mantis_Toboggan_MD
28 days ago

I read the story of how the Navy shitcanned the Ardvark in favor of the Tomcat, a great read one that is emblematic of why bureaucrats should never be involved in anything.
I wasn’t aware that Cheney hated Grumman and wanted them gone. Any idea as to why?

mmack
mmack
Reply to  Steve
28 days ago

I read the story of how the Navy sh-t-canned the Aardvark in favor of the Tomcat, a great read one that is emblematic of why bureaucrats should never be involved in anything. That was the Late, “Great” Robert McNamara, who prior to being SecDef was President of Ford Motor Company. Bob had the GREAT idea that if cars could utilize a common platform to cut development costs and speed production (nip and tuck the Falcon to make the Mustang, pull and stretch the Falcon to make the mid-size Fairlane, shrink and cut the Lincoln Continental to make a Thunderbird) then… Read more »

Steve
Steve
Reply to  Steve
27 days ago

Don’t fret the downvotes. Didn’t realize there was another person using that handle, and someone apparently got drunk and went through downvoting every post from “Steve”.

Sorry you got caught up in it, but the puerile pettiness, or maybe just the feminism, is kind of funny when you think about it.

Last edited 27 days ago by Steve
Maniac
Maniac
28 days ago

There’s another reason they went tits-up: their food sucked. Out of curiosity, I drove to the closest one to me, which was about an hour away, and was unimpressed.

Jack Dobson
Jack Dobson
Reply to  thezman
28 days ago

It ceased to be cheap, too. Inflation hit seafood prices some time back, and after experimenting with shrinkflation and adding chicken dishes and so forth, the company was forced to hike prices to keep afloat. Covid piled on while that was happening to them. Also, after going to the franchise model, the variations between locations became even more pronounced. Further, the locations often were near shopping malls, which have become ghost towns due to diversity and online shopping.

Hoagie
Hoagie
Reply to  thezman
28 days ago

” hate crime against Italians”. That’s the best description of the Olive Garden I have ever seen I shall be using it over and over again. Thank you.

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  Hoagie
28 days ago

You should see the movie Big Night (1996) starring Stanley Tucci, Tony Shaloub, Isabella Rossellini, Minnie Driver, Campbell Scott and Ian Holm. It’s all about the Italian restaurant bidniss (set in New Jersey in 1954), and is funny as hell, although also fairly serious. You’ll also be starvin’ like Marvin when the final frame rolls.

Mr. House
Mr. House
Reply to  thezman
28 days ago

“Olive Garden is a hate crime against Italians.”

Cheap imitation. Kinda like everything about our culture and society.

Mr. House
Mr. House
Reply to  Mr. House
28 days ago

Men: Cheap imitation
Women: Cheap imitation
Military: Expensive imitation
Religion: Perverted imitation
ect ect ect

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  Mr. House
28 days ago

Fake and ghey, one might say…

mmack
mmack
Reply to  thezman
28 days ago

I suspect it’s a swirling combination of factors: 1) Certainly COVID-19 hurt the chain in areas where draconian lockdowns were stupidly yet vigorously enforced. But even where I live Big Blue Dem City finally dropped the charade in 2022. Probably more likely is the more Biden Bucks it takes to go to dinner these days wiped out the folks who could just afford it. 2) As you say, if you can afford to go out to eat, you want your purchases to count for something. I won’t go into painful details but the LAST time The Lovely 🥰 Mrs. and… Read more »

Mr. House
Mr. House
Reply to  mmack
28 days ago

Or the cost of their debt went up. Why do you think they’ve been holding rates as low as they have for as long as they have? We broke baby. Nothing in our “economy” can function at 5%. Wait until the next time they cut to zero, you gonna see some real inflation then.

mmack
mmack
Reply to  Mr. House
28 days ago

Agreed. They may have been hit with the double whammy of falling revenues and higher debt service. One of those situations nobody considers until it happens to them.

Steve
Steve
Reply to  mmack
28 days ago

And, yet, it seems someone should have been able to predict that interest rates under 1% couldn’t last. Especially when the yield curve inverted.

Mr. House
Mr. House
Reply to  Steve
28 days ago

I think many of them thought it would be another decade of 0%. But that is what 2020 was really about, we went out to the world and asked for another decade of 0% and were told to fuck off. Hence covid and everything since. If they could do 0% now they would, but they can’t. Hence turning the dial up to 11 to start a war, be it civil or global. Why do you think all the news has talked about since the FED started raising was when rates would go back down? With the fraud market at 40k?… Read more »

Last edited 28 days ago by Mr. House
Steve
Steve
Reply to  Mr. House
28 days ago

0% is crazytalk. Would you lend a stranger $1,000 with terms that if nothing bad happens, he will pay you $1,000 in 5 years? If something bad happens you get back less or possibly nothing?

The only way that makes any sense is in the deflationary period of, for example, the late 19th century.

Steve
Steve
Reply to  Mr. House
28 days ago

The Fed is more of a “pushing on a rope” thing. It’s more accurate to say they follow where the markets lead, not the other way around.

But yes, I agree it was not COVID. But it also wasn’t really the Fed, in this case, either. All the high-powered money Congress was dishing out to everyone it could corrupt had to lead to inflation — less goods produced, more money to buy those goods. The spending under Trump made it inevitable.

Brandon Laskow
Brandon Laskow
Reply to  thezman
28 days ago

One good thing about the snobbery of the inner Bay Area is that none of these chain casual restaurants exist here. I’ve never eaten at Red Lobster or Olive Garden.

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  thezman
28 days ago

I will say one small thing for Red Slobster. Back in the 70s they made the best dam’ hush puppies on the planet. They were the length of a cigarette but about twice the circumference, and had lots of sage. Totally delish. Alas, they stopped making those hush puppies long ago. Maybe that also factored into their financial woes.

Barnard
Barnard
Reply to  Maniac
28 days ago

The quality of the food and service only played a minor role in their demise. Zman is right about the vulture capital aspect which overwhelms every other factor. I looked at their menu online and was surprised it wasn’t more expensive. Red Lobster ended up in a bad spot in the market, especially if they were attracting vibrant diners. The lack of tips and other problems they cause is going to drive away your best wait staff as well.

ProZNoV
ProZNoV
Reply to  Barnard
28 days ago

I’d love to see a Zman piece about “private equity.”

It sounds like Gordon Gekko, but on steroids.

Evil Sandmich
Evil Sandmich
Reply to  Maniac
28 days ago

15 to 20 years ago it was pretty decent, as such things go. Somewhere along the way it was like someone closed down the original Red Lobster and opened a chain of like-named restaurants that were just a poor copy of the original. There has been a lot of that though, everything has been coin-clipped to the point that it is just a half-remembered memory of a better time.

btp
Member
28 days ago

In before, “But that’s not real capitalism!”

It is, guys. It really is.

Mr. House
Mr. House
Reply to  btp
28 days ago

Nah, its corporatism. Capitalism requires failure, corporatism fails all at once! which is what we’re going to get.

btp
Member
Reply to  Mr. House
28 days ago

Well, I was in before it, but it didn’t work.

Yes, Mr. House. True Capitalism has never been tried. We know.

Jack Dobson
Jack Dobson
Reply to  btp
28 days ago

The conditioning about capitalism is at the same level as equalitarianism. The difference is that on paper capitalism should work, and sometimes even does, but it requires interventions and regulations that run counter to the myth and even comes up short then. Corporatism is capitalism, and is the inevitable end stage when someone does not ride her on it, and even at then probably gets there.

Tom K
Tom K
Reply to  Jack Dobson
28 days ago

“ride herd on it”?
“ride her” works too.

Jack Dobson
Jack Dobson
Reply to  Tom K
28 days ago

Works better, maybe. Typos are fun.

Steve
Steve
Reply to  Jack Dobson
28 days ago

Disagree. Corporatism is what you get when you try to merge government and business. That’s what Mussolini’s book said, anyway.

Kinda like in Aliens. The only solution is to nuke the capitals from orbit.

Jack Dobson
Jack Dobson
Reply to  Steve
28 days ago

The two invariably merge without muscular intervention. The United States has become a fascist entity, just not in the way the blue-haired and pierced non-binaries mean it (to the extent they mean anything at all).

Steve
Steve
Reply to  Jack Dobson
28 days ago

Right. So do you dispense with the one that produces goods and services (including your daily bread, for those who will otherwise start screaming about materialism) or with the one which seems to have either orchestrated where we are now or was powerless to prevent it?

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  Steve
28 days ago

Government and big bidniss have been in bed together in America for a very, very long time. What’s different now, however, is that they’re turning their schlongs on us.

Jeffrey Zoar
Jeffrey Zoar
Reply to  Jack Dobson
28 days ago

The palace economy of which I often complain is probably necessary. The critical part is who is occupying the palace and how are they running it, and for who’s benefit

Last edited 28 days ago by Jeffrey Zoar
Steve
Steve
Reply to  Jeffrey Zoar
28 days ago

It’s an evil, yes, but necessary? That always seems to be just assumed.

What is it that you expect of government that it actually does? If you make lists, pros on one side, cons the other, which list is the more compelling?

Mr. House
Mr. House
Reply to  btp
28 days ago

has true anything ever been tried, being that we are human? I mean we generally corrupt everything

Steve
Steve
Reply to  Mr. House
28 days ago

Most of our lives we’ve tried anarchy, and it almost always works. If your neighbor wants to borrow your chainsaw, he asks, you decide, and that’s it. You can live peacefully regardless of the answer.

The problem is when he appeals to “authorities” to make you lend him the chainsaw. One side or the other is leaving unhappy with the decision, with or without justification.

Riffing off Clinton, it’s the authorities, stupid.

3g4me
3g4me
Reply to  btp
28 days ago

btp: Husband and I have repeatedly had this same argument. He’s still convinced that True Capitalism, without bad government intervention, would work because of muh magic market. I disagree, and round and round we go.

Steve
Steve
Reply to  3g4me
28 days ago

You already know this, but you married a smart man.

Arshad Ali
Arshad Ali
Reply to  3g4me
28 days ago

Sounds like an overdose of Ayn Rand to me.

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  3g4me
28 days ago

You already know this, but your husband married a smart woman.

Capitalism, in addition to its other faults voluminously enumerated above, annihilates culture, tradition and aesthetics. Everything falls before the diktats of the profit margin. And the capitalist society becomes etiolated, shallow, vulgar and nihilistic. Unchecked capitalism does all that. It is every bit as totalizing as communism.

Steve
Steve
Reply to  Ostei Kozelskii
28 days ago

How are you defining “capitalism”? You do with your stuff as you like (obligatory caveats) hardly seems to imply any of this, let alone what’s posted elsewhere here.

Depending on your definition, we might be in agreement. I, too, would despise a system which did that. *Cough* socialism *cough*.

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  Steve
28 days ago

Capitalism as unchecked, unregulated free enterprise. Any society defined, in large measure, by its adherence to this system, will eventually be transmogrified into something grotesque and hideous, and then bulldozed into a trench. America was thus warped and is now in the process of being razed.

Steve
Steve
Reply to  Ostei Kozelskii
28 days ago

OK, now what do you mean by “free enterprise”? I’m guessing we are not using the same definition, you doing with your stuff yadda yadda.

The most effective check on free enterprise is people not buying your product. The most effective “regulation” is people not buying your product unless you meet their standards. In other words, capitalism.

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  Steve
28 days ago

Free enterprise is economic democracy, and as we’ve seen from governmental democracy, it’s no dam’ good for anybody except for a certain form of elite. A terrible society imposed from the top down or chosen freely by the masses is still a terrible society.

Steve
Steve
Reply to  Ostei Kozelskii
28 days ago

Free enterprise is economic democracy.

OK, agree to disagree, I guess. I’m not seeing how society would be better if I were compelled to buy or not buy a certain lawnmower, at the whim of some authority figure.

If a guy wants Rocky Road, let him buy Rocky Road, for pete’s sake, and society can go screw.

Now granted, externalities, but is there a single larger externality than AINO?

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  Steve
27 days ago

Of what good is total freedom of choice when it leads to the terrible society? This reification of principle at the expense of pragmatism is what ruined the Right in America. I’ve seen the results of capitalism, and they leave much to be desired. Now having said that, I’m not opposed to capitalism per se. I simply prefer that it be carefully managed rather than left to its own destructive devices. The libertarian model is not for me.

Steve
Steve
Reply to  Ostei Kozelskii
27 days ago

Letting someone decide which lawnmower he wants, or if he wants one at all, or choosing his favorite flavor of ice cream is hardly “total freedom of choice”. I get that drawing the line will take some thought, but it’s got to be somewhere that and brutal totalitarianism, isn’t it?

What’s with the straw men?

Bourbon
Bourbon
Reply to  Ostei Kozelskii
28 days ago

Ostei Kozelskii: “Capitalism, in addition to its other faults voluminously enumerated above, annihilates culture, tradition and aesthetics.” I would argue that it’s not capitalism, but rather j00ry, to include the j00ish monopoly on all forms of media [jewspapers, j00vies, talmudvision channels, scr0tial media websites, to include j00ish pr0n], plus of course the j00ish monopoly on distributing the fiat shekels emanating from the Federal Reserve, which altogether is what “annihilates culture, tradition and aesthetics”. Back circa 1875-1900, when ackshual White Christians were still the captains of industry in this nation, I don’t know of anyone*** who promoted the annihilation of culture… Read more »

3g4me
3g4me
Reply to  Ostei Kozelskii
28 days ago

Ostei: Thank you – my husband said to tell you that he knows he married a smart woman. And Steve, I did marry a smart man. But neither of us is always right. In this instance, without giving away too much personal information, I understand my husband’s point of view because that’s what he does all day – he’s involved in multiple, individual commercial transactions daily. He’s honest and fair, but wants to make his employer money as well as provide value to his customer. He’s neither a naif nor a shark – and he believes (correctly in his case)… Read more »

Steve
Steve
Reply to  3g4me
27 days ago

I meant for there to be a wink emoticon on that. No idea why my phone didn’t put it on, and it was a pain in the butt to find it. Maybe that emoticon doesn’t translate from Android?

My big complaint, I guess, is that our “big White western heart” always chooses to empower the one who screws up everything it touches, government. That there’s a government seal of approval gives people a false sense of security. Health, economy, money, environment, immigration, domestic and international policy, etc., what have they done a good job on?

Last edited 27 days ago by Steve
right2remainviolent
right2remainviolent
Reply to  btp
28 days ago

Exactly.

My working thesis is that capitalism and communism are twisted mirror images of each other.

Gespest
Gespest
Reply to  btp
28 days ago

It’s muh Creative Destruction in operation!

Tired Citizen
Tired Citizen
28 days ago

It is why we used to hunt down and punish corruption and fraud. Note we no longer do that.”

correct. Instead our government is busy hunting down normal people who have said the “n” word.

Paintersforms
Paintersforms
28 days ago

I’m an American, I’m not a communist, and I’m supposed to love capitalism, but looking at how things turned out in practice, I’ll say this:

Communism is moral to a fault. It punished people and ground itself down in a purity spiral.

Capitalism is immoral (I’d say to a fault, but that might be redundant lol). It’s become a free-for-all and is exploding itself in a filth spiral.

I want to say both outcomes are the result of being ideological instead of practical.

Steve
Steve
Reply to  Paintersforms
28 days ago

If you are Christian or even Paulian, capitalism is not immoral. “Thou shalt not steal” has no meaning without the notion of private property. The Commandment(s) about coveting your neighbors stuff means nothing if he’s not permitted to own stuff.

Jannie
Jannie
Reply to  Steve
28 days ago

Yes, and what about Jesus Christ’s Parable of the Talents?

Steve
Steve
Reply to  Jannie
28 days ago

Good point. Probably more appropriate in this case, too, because I think @Paintersforms said he is a New Testament Christian who puts special emphasis on the red words.

(Full disclosure: I was too, a decade or two ago, until I started really pondering what those red words were saying.)

Paintersforms
Paintersforms
Reply to  Paintersforms
28 days ago

Markets, private property, saving and investing, etc., all predate capitalism by, what, at least a couple thousand years? I’ve often wondered why it took so long to give it a name, or if the name refers to something other than the things we all like.

Then I see looting, lying, liquidation, and perversion, and I figure whatever this capitalism thing is must be immoral.

Steve
Steve
Reply to  Paintersforms
28 days ago

Depends on definitions.

As I use the term, markets, private property, saving and investing, etc. are capitalism. Basically, you can do whatever you like with your stuff (caveats, yes) and reap either the gains or losses, depending on your acumen and luck.

TomA
TomA
28 days ago

I ask . . . is there any realistic solution to this parasitic cancer that does not involve hard measures? Does anyone still think that the traditional institutional mechanisms of correction still function as they should? Look at the farce of the current Trump prosecution in New York. A former president is on trial for a non-crime and everyone knows that this is a politically motivated persecution. And yet there are no protests in the streets. The spring winds tighter however. And when in snaps, its not going to be pretty. Don’t take it out on your neighbor just because… Read more »

Mycale
Mycale
28 days ago

Like E. Michael Jones says, capitalism is state-sponsored usury. When the moneychangers engage in the behavior Z describes, it is a killing blow for any company. All of them – 100% – will die either sooner or later, because the debt is totally impossible to service. This behavior is disastrous for the businesses, horrible for the people who work at the businesses, terrible for the local communities, but is not just accepted by the government but encouraged and subsidized. You end up destroying the real, actual economy, the business of making and selling stuff, and walk away with a bunch… Read more »

Steve
Steve
Reply to  Mycale
28 days ago

E. Michael Jones is a crank. He’s like a stopped clock.

Not 100% of companies will go bankrupt because of debt service. Those without debt will not only do fine, but will also be able to hoover up assets at pennies on the dollar, or possibly even less.

I’m looking forward to it.

Those with a Biblical worldview (“…the borrower is servant to the lender”) or a Shakespearean influence (“Neither a borrower nor a lender be” etc.) won’t fall for the financialization schtick in the first place.

Drive-By Shooter
Drive-By Shooter
Reply to  Steve
28 days ago

Those without debt will not only do fine, but will also be able to hoover up assets at pennies on the dollar, or possibly even less.

I’m looking forward to it.

Feel free to tell us where you stand with vulture capitalism.

Those with a Biblical worldview…won’t fall for the financialization schtick in the first place.

Neither do the vulture capitalists of carrion capitalism.

Steve
Steve
Reply to  Drive-By Shooter
28 days ago

Define “vulture capitalism”. If you mean someone who made the decision to avoid debt and is in a position to profit from those who were just after a fast buck by borrowing at 1%, knowing that could never last, I’m all for it.

Foolish people should be punished for making foolish mistakes. Otherwise you just create more fools.

Steve
Steve
Reply to  Steve
28 days ago

If it bothers you, consider who it is that lent out the money. The guy who goes out of business gets a hit on his credit rating (and rightfully so) but it’s the banker who is out the cash.

Why does it bother you that the guys doing the financialization are the ones hurt by “vulture capitalism”?

Tars Tarkas
Tars Tarkas
Reply to  Steve
28 days ago

They aren’t out anything. They printed (Virtually. they don’t even have the ink and paper costs) the money and then took possession of the real thing when the printed money couldn’t be paid back. The (((bankers))) make out like bandits.

Steve
Steve
Reply to  Tars Tarkas
28 days ago

Who did this?

There are not many who create currency out of thin air. The treasury when it issues bonds, and arguably the Fed when it allows fractional reserve.

But the banker must comply with GAAP. A $10k loan (asset) must have an offsetting $10k liability, which is generally owed to the Fed. But the banker is out the full amount if the debtor walks away. That’s why they bother with collections services.

Last edited 28 days ago by Steve
Steve
Steve
Reply to  Steve
27 days ago

Bankers will be so happy that they no longer have to follow GAAP…

Drive-By Shooter
Drive-By Shooter
Reply to  Mycale
28 days ago

Commenter Steve writes that Capitalism, Inc. (i.e. rootless irresponsibility capitalism) is Christian, too, and he is correct. Christian motives to support it are not difficult to understand. It’s rapacious Christians’ greed, of course, but Capitalism, Inc., has been helpful for subsidizing missions, church construction, congregation formation, and related unnecessary activity. Christianity would turn the Earth’s land and seas into a wasteland on the pretext bamboozling humanity to accept a phony salvation. Meanwhile Jewish supremacy can look on with grudging approval, understanding full well that Christianity has been a useful, manipulable stalking horse for more than 1,000 years. Sects of Jesusism,… Read more »

Last edited 28 days ago by Drive-By Shooter
Steve
Steve
Reply to  Drive-By Shooter
28 days ago

There’s a lot of truth there. Mainstream Christianity (more correctly, Paulianity) has a lot to answer for. Certainly they seem to be piling up treasures on earth. Just look at all the cathedrals and extravagant churches. How many set up in a Morton Building? I know of a couple, but most squander every penny they can. And they preach questionable doctrine, e.g., tithing.

I do think it’s appropriate to distinguish between Christians and Christianity, Inc., though.

Captain Willard
Captain Willard
28 days ago

We can deal with bankrupt restaurants, but F-35s that cannot fly could be a serious problem some day.

The flip side is that F-35s that cannot fly cannot be used for additional stupid, expensive wars. It’s possible that we wasted $1 Trillion on these crappy planes but that functional planes may have ended up costing us $3 trillion in new wars. Pentagon efficiency haha…

CFOmally
CFOmally
28 days ago

I guess I’m part of the problem. After spending my working life building a mom and pop service business I began to look for a way to retire, and a corporate buyout offered more than a private buyout. So I did it and stayed on running the place for a few years as a transition. At first they were pretty hands off and the place continued to do well. Then after a couple years the mid level management (girl bosses of both sexes) just couldn’t keep their hands off a good thing. Growth and profits are down for the first… Read more »

TempoNick
TempoNick
Reply to  CFOmally
28 days ago

“corporate world and the government world is a dead end.” Mixed feelings on this. You do well with salary and the fact that they cover healthcare. The problem is, once you hit 50 and you’re making too much salary, you have a target on your back at budget time. I think the other issue is about the way your wired personally. It seems like you have to be kind of a player, making friends within any given organization, to get ahead. It’s performance as well, no doubt. It also takes the same skills that it takes to be popular in… Read more »

Intelligent Dasein
Intelligent Dasein
Member
Reply to  CFOmally
28 days ago

Thank you for nicely illustrating the point that it is useless to blame individuals for cashing out and useless to blame the system for strip-mining regions of low entropy for a quick gain. Any individual and any system is vulnerable to this, because it’s just the way life works. There isn’t anything you can do to stop it in principle, but people should be made to understand that if you want to have honest institutions that work, or deeply rooted businesses competently managed by those with skin in the game, then occasionally somebody has to sacrifice for them. Somebody has… Read more »

Steve
Steve
Reply to  Intelligent Dasein
28 days ago

Any individual and any system is vulnerable to this, because it’s just the way life works.

Pretty cynical. Moreso than I am, even.

We used to have things like silent partners and contracts for deed back in the day when a man could transfer his business to his progeny or, failing that, to an ambitious neighbor kid. That system was not vulnerable, precisely because there was no low-hanging fruit to loot. Every asset had an offsetting liability, otherwise double entry bookkeeping wouldn’t work.

The real problem started when it became legal to use fictional entries to offset legitimate entries.

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  Intelligent Dasein
28 days ago

In other words, somebody has to live for something other than the almighty buck. There must be more to their life than getting filthily rich.

I wholeheartedly agree.

Steve
Steve
Reply to  Ostei Kozelskii
28 days ago

That’s the great thing about what I mean by capitalism, though. You get to match your actions to your values.

Getting filthy rich in my definition of capitalism means you have satisfied a crapton of the wants and desires of your fellow men. Would a system be better which encouraged you not to meet their needs?

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  Steve
28 days ago

You may have met their needs in some way, but, rather than reap the ultimate billion-dollar windfall, you must continue meeting their needs as you always have. That means “settling” for being a multi-millionaire rather than a billionaire.

Steve
Steve
Reply to  Ostei Kozelskii
28 days ago

 but, rather than reap the ultimate billion-dollar windfall, you must continue meeting their needs as you always have.

As our host, @Zman, preaches, “Says who?”

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  Steve
27 days ago

Says me and many, many other critics of capitalism. The Invisible Hand is the shadow of Molloch.

Steve
Steve
Reply to  Ostei Kozelskii
27 days ago

Then you sate their needs. What’s stopping you?

3g4me
3g4me
Reply to  Intelligent Dasein
28 days ago

ID: I think this is the best comment you’ve ever made here. And you are exactly correct: Someone needs to take less than maximum profit if there is to be anything to accrue as social capital. Someone needs to sell his house to someone who would be a good neighbor, rather than the Cali refugee who offers double the value in cash, sight unseen. But we all, also, believe we ought to have the right to dispose of our personal property as we see fit – even if that then results in strip-mined neighborhoods instead of solid, integral communities. There… Read more »

Lineman
Lineman
Reply to  3g4me
28 days ago

There is always a cost, and no one wants to be the one to pay.
Why do you think we continue to be ruled by ones that hate us and want us dead…

SouthPoll
SouthPoll
28 days ago

Like many of your posts this strikes hard, and brings a sense of sadness for the situation we are in. That said most or even all militaries operate as grifting machines in peace. Russia and China have had that problem too. Witness Prigozhin’s commentary and now the restructuring of military leadership. The difficulty is in assessing a military’s effectiveness without engaging in combat. It would appear that the US would have an edge as its had a number of engagements over the past 30+ years. Operation Desert Storm seemed to demonstrated that the US military was at peak operating form… Read more »

Wkathman
Wkathman
28 days ago

To use a cringeworthy pun . . . Zman is right on the money with today’s essay.

Vizzini
Member
28 days ago

The usual suspects are going to ruin the town of Harpers Ferry with a development project that will make them money, but come at the expense of the residents.

Sounds like a job for Killdozer.

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  Vizzini
28 days ago

There’s actually a pretty decent band called Killdozer.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O56wJadwXeU

RealityRules
RealityRules
28 days ago

We have been in the looting phase for a long time. Perhaps what we are now entering is the hyper-looting phase. At this point any critique to be effective should be naming names. For example, with the Invasion phase of TGR saying Biden or The Democrats isn’t effective. What is needed are the names and interlocking directory and payment receipts of all involved. The DS bureaucrats, the NGO heads and staffs, the church pastors and boards of directors … … The receipts are there. We need short but sweet exposes ready-made for Twitter. The same is true of every grift… Read more »

Paul Gottfried
Paul Gottfried
28 days ago

In 1543, this guy saw the emergence of “blood sucker economy” from the movement he started –

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/On_the_Jews_and_Their_Lies

Jeffrey Zoar
Jeffrey Zoar
28 days ago

I remember in the late 1980s when Gordon Gekko was seen as a role model by many. I’m pretty sure that’s not what Oliver Stone intended. Which raises the question of who or what corrupted whom. Did the system corrupt the people or did the people corrupt the system? Not being a big believer in isms one way or the other, I’m leaning to the latter. Coincidentally, this was one generation after prayer was taken out of schools. Which in and of itself is just a data point, but is one indicator of a societal shift from transcendent values to… Read more »

Steve
Steve
Reply to  Jeffrey Zoar
28 days ago

I think it’s like @Zman’s essay yesterday(?) — the manager selection criteria changed. True, it started with a change in the laws such that corporate raiders became possible, and was exascerbated by the inflation of the ’70s, but ultimately, there would be no vulture capitalists if there were no people with morally-casual attitudes who are willing to destroy others’ lives for a buck.

Alan Smithee
Alan Smithee
Reply to  Jeffrey Zoar
28 days ago

Stone’s Gekko was a three-dimensional character, an increasingly endangered species in all the arts and nearly extinct on the big screen.

But I think Ellis’s Patrick Bateman captured the actual spirit of the age we are in much better. Especially when you consider that it is deliberately unclear whether any of his story is actually taking place anywhere outside his own imagination.

This is a disturbing observation, but there it is.

Jack Dobson
Jack Dobson
Reply to  Alan Smithee
28 days ago

Spot on. The United States is Patrick Bateman with advanced AIDS now.

Arshad Ali
Arshad Ali
Reply to  Jeffrey Zoar
28 days ago

Gekko was based on real-life characters who created and promoted ‘high-yield securities’ (i.e., junk bonds) like Ivan Boesky, who ended up in prison. I think it was Boesky who said ‘Greed is good’ at a Princeton graduation ceremony (the audience cheered). In the movie, Gekko says the same thing.

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  Arshad Ali
28 days ago

As it turns out, there’s little more evil, or at minimum profoundly foolish, than greed.

Abelard Lindsey
Abelard Lindsey
28 days ago

Definitely one of the better postings here. David Stockman wrote a book about this phenomenon some years back called “The Great Deformation”.

J Ribble
J Ribble
28 days ago

Tim Hortons in Canada was taken over by private equity several years ago. Still busy in places but it’s gone decidedly downhill. The all-Canadian marketing doesn’t work anymore, and so many franchises have been bought up by subcontinentals. Their customer service is usually dreadful

Tom K
Tom K
28 days ago

The Communists made Capitalism work in China so I don’t know what that means except maybe there’s a fine line between the two in practice. The Chinese found they had to reserve a bullet for every capitalist to make it work lol. The Usual Suspects didn’t get to worm their way into the transition in China so it didn’t turn into a disaster there like it did in Russia. It took a Putin to shake off the fleas in Russia but that wasn’t inevitable, it was the Big One that got away. Maybe that’s why the neocons are in such… Read more »

Last edited 28 days ago by Tom K
Alfred
Alfred
28 days ago

You would have to admit, scenes of hugely obese negro women dressed in super tight clothing, with huge fake eyelashes and wigs, chowing down on enormous plates of “skrimps”, is a very funny image.

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  Alfred
27 days ago

Now that’s what I call black humor…

Arshad Ali
Arshad Ali
28 days ago

In the capitalist utopia of the future, we will be making and trading financial ‘products.’ And no-one will be making anything real. And no matter how successful you are as a financial ‘entrepreneur’, you won’t be able to buy anything real with your fiat billions, because there will be nothing real to buy. In other words a once real economy that made and traded real things will converge to the board game ‘Monopoly.’

steve w
steve w
Reply to  Arshad Ali
28 days ago

As long as there exists real private wealth in the United States, the financialization of everything makes sense. Millions of Americans retain real wealth – in land, in homes, in automobiles, in investments and savings – which effectively “back the dollar”, much as the gold holdings at Fort Knox and elsewhere supported the dollar when the gold standard operated. Add to this the considerable capital value of lands held by the Federal government itself, with its mining and timber rights, etc., and the motivation for piracy by “stakeholders” both private and public becomes clear. Our “Social Capital” is of course… Read more »

Arshad Ali
Arshad Ali
Reply to  steve w
28 days ago

Same thing in my neck of the woods — social capital has been pillaged by private developers.

Jeffrey Zoar
Jeffrey Zoar
Reply to  steve w
28 days ago

well, typically it’s the “open and honest” village government that supplies the permits

Paintersforms
Paintersforms
Reply to  Jeffrey Zoar
28 days ago

PA has state zoning laws— you have to open up a certain amount to residential, commercial, industrial development. So my dad tells me, he’s involved in this stuff. There’s only so much fight local government can put up, and mine does, thankfully.

Real estate is a huge part of the US economy. Build, baby, build.

davidcito
davidcito
28 days ago

I remember when red lobster and other big chain restaurants came into our suburb back in the 80s. My boomer parents didn’t realize, but the low prices were putting mom & pop restaurants out of business. Fast forward 30 years, and now the big chain restaurants are too expensive for my dad, they’re filled with ‘mullen johns’ and he can get a cheaper meal at the new mom & pop diners lol. Even if the big chain restaurants are franchises, possibly owned by a local, I see franchise owners as not having the same kind of soul or connection to… Read more »

RealityRules
RealityRules
28 days ago

Read the Harper’s Ferry development story. Here is how the International Shopping Mall and Tourism Zone – NA 2 works. Do you really think that the story in the WSJ last week targeting West Virginia for mass immigrant invasion is unrelated? I doubt it. Some financier connected to some 5-start hotel and resort conglomerate bribed the hardline Conservative who is suddenly concerned with getting money for WV schools. The WSJ is doing its part to flood West Virginia with maids, landscapers, heavily accented anti-America (I mean pro ISM Tourism Zone NA2-WV1), docents, wait staff … … so that these resorts… Read more »

Tars Tarkas
Tars Tarkas
28 days ago

Profit used to be the yardstick of efficiency. Profit was proof you were combining land, labor and capital in an efficient way and which satisfied a market demand. If you were generating a loss, that meant you were doing something in an inefficient way or not satisfying a market demand and squandering land, labor and capital.

Red Lobster really went downhill in the early-mid 90s. I stopped eating there a long, long time ago.

Jeffrey Zoar
Jeffrey Zoar
Reply to  Tars Tarkas
28 days ago

Local restaurants fail for a variety of reasons, often from starting out with too much debt, but I can’t think of a once successful chain restaurant that failed without the food turning to crap many years earlier. But it’s possible that the food issue was just a symptom of the bust out, cost cutting on ingredients to maximize profit.

Last edited 28 days ago by Jeffrey Zoar
Steve
Steve
Reply to  Tars Tarkas
28 days ago

And dividends was the way that profit was communicated to investors. You could weed out pretty much all junk on just a history of dividends, and a quick scan of their line card.

Of course, that didn’t cause enough financialization so Congress, in their infinite wisdom, chose to change the tax structure on “unearned” income to incentivize phony capital gains that could be exploited by big players and the stock option set.

Tars Tarkas
Tars Tarkas
Reply to  Steve
28 days ago

And 401ks would ensure lots of money flowed into the market. Which begs the question what is going to happen in a few more years when all of the boomers are retired and want to move their assets to less risky investments? Will there be enough funny money to buy up all the assets they want to sell? While totally unrelated, lots of 60s cars and car part stashes are coming onto the market while classic cars are still booming with lots of boomers still bidding them up. I think there will be a crash in anything and everything boomer… Read more »

Steve
Steve
Reply to  Tars Tarkas
28 days ago

Will there be enough funny money to buy up all the assets they want to sell?

No/yes. The price is what it is.

You have to wonder what will happen to all the boomer real estate too.

Same thing that happened to silents’ real estate. It will be subject to re-valuation, and the heir will have to decide whether to sell or pay the higher tax. In the case of multiple heirs, it’s almost certainly going to be sold. Early boomers should be fine, late boomers, not so much, but millenials, maybe late X and on are sitting pretty.

Last edited 28 days ago by Steve
Tars Tarkas
Tars Tarkas
Reply to  Steve
28 days ago

The Silents were not facing the same predicament. The silents had a huge generation behind them to buy anything they were selling. The Boomers have X behind them which is far smaller than boomers. Millennials are also a large generation, but they will be a lot younger than the Boomers were when the Silents were selling. They just don’t have the money. Time will tell, I guess.

Steve
Steve
Reply to  Tars Tarkas
28 days ago

The silents had a huge generation behind them to buy anything they were selling. The Boomers have X behind them which is far smaller than boomers.

Right. So when silents passed, because there were more boomers than houses, there was a bidding war for property, i.e., rising house prices. When Boomers start passing, there will be more properties with fewer buyers, i.e., falling house prices.

This will be exacerbated by stock market declines, so Boomers might be in the case of selling housing at a loss just to pay medigap premiums.

Jeffrey Zoar
Jeffrey Zoar
Reply to  Tars Tarkas
28 days ago

Harley Davidson’s stock price reflects this. Worth half what it was 10 years ago. It’s going to get worse.

Last edited 28 days ago by Jeffrey Zoar
Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  Jeffrey Zoar
28 days ago

Looks like somebody’s no longer living so high on the Hog…

Xman
Xman
Reply to  Tars Tarkas
28 days ago

As one of the earliest of the Gen Xers, I have been worried about this for years. If I were to get in on the real estate and stock market Ponzi schemes, I’d be the first one to get fucked when the Boomers all cash out.

My strategy has always been to stay out of debt, avoid conspicuous and frivolous consumption, pay cash and settle for guaranteed returns on things like Treasuries for 5%.

It is sometimes difficult to watch the Boomers getting free money in the stock Ponzi or in inheritances while I count pennies, though.

Steve
Steve
Reply to  Xman
28 days ago

It’s a worry for sure, and I’m speaking as one of the tail end of the boomers.

As another blogger says, you make money on the purchase not on the sale. From the point of view of whether Boomers crash the market, you probably have the better part of a decade before it becomes much of a threat.

But sounds like you are primed to take advantage of it when it happens. Good luck!

Tars Tarkas
Tars Tarkas
Reply to  Xman
28 days ago

It’s a great time to get into funeral homes. The baby boom turns into the funeral boom. Just like how so many toy stores and toy makers went bankrupt after the boom, schools were built and abandoned, discotheques peaked and then crashed, now the funeral home business will have a death boom followed by a crash. Me also being early gen-x, it sounds kind of attractive.

Lineman
Lineman
Reply to  Tars Tarkas
28 days ago

Go long on cemetery plots then…

Last edited 28 days ago by Lineman
Ostei Kozelskii
Member