Paleo Retiree writes:
- Are bottled cocktails worth the cost? (Link thanks to Eddie Pensier.)
- Has the fake Holocaust memoir become a literary genre of its own?
- Want to tell the FCC you don’t want it fucking with net neutrality? Here’s how.
- What kind of guy was Cesar Chavez?
- A great line from Steve Sailer: “Nationally, we seem to have the financial morals of a rapper.”
- Will the architecture establishment, which was really vicious to him, ever get around to admitting that the Prince of Wales has been right all along?
- A fun interview with the French actress Fanny Ardant, best-known in the U.S. for having worked with (and having had an affair with) superstar director François Truffaut.
- When I was a kid it was widely assumed that better machines and increasing wealth would lead to shorter work weeks for everyone. What happened to that dream?
- Ralph Nader: leftie or rightie?
- Does “slut-shaming” have more to do with class wars between women than anything men are doing?
- In praise of cash.
- Don’t forget to visit our NSFW Tumblr blog, where we share some of the kinky things that stir our imaginations.
“When I was a kid it was widely assumed that better machines and increasing wealth would lead to shorter work weeks for everyone. What happened to that dream?”
The Me Generation felt that all those extra leisure hours could be more profitably spent striving for higher and higher status. “We deserve better” than that stable Midcentury society, where only 1% of folks would make it into the top 1% — how unjust! If we all work as hard as possible, then at least 5 percent — perhaps even 10! — could make it to the top of the pyramid.
And so, the machines were replaced by Baby Boomers.
Free trade combined with mass immigration doesn’t lead to evenly distributed greater prosperity. It pushes down wages for the first world working class and, increasingly, the middle class. But not everyone in the 1% reaps the greatest benefits. The bottom half of the income 1% is mostly Main Street money, e.g. restaurant franchise owners, mid-size city law firm partners and surgeons. The top half of the income 1% are the real movers and shakers, and they earn multiples of what the folks in the bottom half earn. They also accumulate much more wealth over time. Yet the tax policies that are always trotted out to reduce inequality always disproportionately affect the bottom half of the 1% and the people just below them ($250k p.a. is not a top 1% income) leaving the top half unscathed.
The adorable Teri Garr also had an affair with Truffaut, as described in her quite interesting autobiography. Now she’s got MS — which seems to affect a disproportionate number of attractive women.
Western nations didn’t get their shorter works weeks and all the expected Paradise that should come with prosperity because they diluted the wealth. First, by internally promoting massive dysgenic breeding (blacks in America, white chavs in the UK for example), and second by importing countless millions of low-skilled, cognitively incapable people who could never contribute at the level needed for a wealthy society.
Instead, the vast new underclass began to suck ever more money from the productive class, to the tune of trillions of dollars, to the point where now effectively the middle class exists for two reasons: to funnel money up to the 1% (or rather 0.1%) and to send money downward to the 47%, as Romney aptly termed them (though he didn’t have the balls to name names; or rather, name races). And since our elites insist we must always have growth — growth! growth above all things!! these Gulfstreams aren’t cheap! — the productive class has to work ever harder, ever longer to maintain growth levels in nations where the productive class is an ever smaller percentage of the overall population.
It’s like America and Europe were great big ships with thousands of rowers, moving swiftly through the waters, and then one by one the rowers are replaced by people who just lounge on the deck. To maintain the same speed, everyone else has to row harder and harder. But eventually you reach a point where it’s not possible and the ship starts to slow down. America has pretty much reached that point now.