The Middle-Aged Genius’s Guide to Almost Everything 57 – American Standard Economics
July 23, 2020
[Beginning of recorded material]
Scott Douglas Jacobsen: So, economics, the United States is characterized by massive income inequality. I think that’s a big marker, unhealthy.
Rick Rosner: Economic arguments right now in the United States are more because the current Republican Party is the worst major US political party, the most corrupt, the most dishonest major party in US history. And so nothing they say can be taken at face value.
They are no more than you could take with the Nazis or what Stalin said at face value. They are the worst of the worst. And they’ve taken everything that the Republicans used to stand for and kept a shell of it, kept a rhetorical shell on, and everything else is pure corruption and pandering to the rich people who pay for them to stay in office.
And as you said increasing income inequality, the Republicans and their rich donors are happy to pay lip service to doing something about it. But to allowing it to continue as long as they can get away with it.
Where middle class and lower class income has stagnated for 40 years. And 80, 90 percent of growth or the fruits of growth has gone to the top several percent. And most of that going to the top one half of one percent in terms of wealth and income. That’s bad.
In the past, there were legitimate arguments to be had. First, do you spend yourself out of a financial crisis, recession or a depression? That’s the Keynesian argument that you get out of it by having the government for a fucking bunch of money and get the economy going again. And then you get the control of that after you reduce the deficit that you went into.
To get out of the depression over time as you end up with a healthy economy for a decade or two, if you’re lucky. But it’s not functioning like that right now where it’s the Republicans who, like our stock market, are doing well.
It’s back up to the levels it was at before Covid and before lockdown. And everything costs tens of millions of jobs. But the jobs are not exactly back to before. Say we’re down to 8.4 percent unemployment. But that’s a deceptive number.
And there are a bunch of different numbers you can work off, including the 46 percent of people of working age in America who aren’t working or weren’t working as of three months ago.
Not all those people get counted under unemployment. But anyway, it’s still, everything’s fucked up in terms of actual business in America that the Fed has purchased one and a quarter trillion dollars in corporate bonds, which is allowing big corporations to keep going, even though they’re not making any money right now.
And when the bond buying ends, this is all part of about four trillion dollars that Trump has added to the deficit, to the national debt, where some of that was tax cuts for rich people, which happened in 2018. But none of this helps. Very little of this helps.
So trying to put any of this in an economic framework is like trying to put diarrhea in a pretty frame. It’s all bullshit. And it’s going to take new leadership to get to the point where we can even have a legitimate argument again.
And even the basic argument for the past hundred years has been you practice austerity and discipline and have a strong economy because it’s not based on printing up money or do you print money and goose the economy when it’s not healthy.
And I think most people have come around to the idea that, yeah, freaking do it. You can goose the economy. And when people are working, you try to get everybody back to work and you worry about the deficit later. Once you’ve addressed the tens of millions of American people who need jobs.
So I’m a Keynesian for the most part. And before we started taping, you were talking about heterodox economists who believe that utilitarianism isn’t the be all and end all of economics.
Jacobsen: I would shorten it a little bit. Utilitarianism, as it gets in there or the sentiment moves forward, that’s more utility maximization and is potentially legitimate and quite strong.
Rosner: So when you tell people utilitarianism says it is the greatest good for the greatest number of people or conversely, the least suffering for the most people, which at face value, it makes what is probably the best place to start. It kind of incorporates the golden rule where I know what I want, which is not to suffer and to be happy. And let’s extend that to everybody. And there you go. You’ve got utilitarianism.
But you and I, we’ve talked and we know that there are all sorts of perversities that make it less of a straightforward thing. For instance, that our sex drives make us engage in all sorts of behavior that is anti-utilitarian.
In that, it depends on how you define not suffering and being happy. And there’s such a premium based on jizz in our minds because biology has made, evolution has made, us so. The things get twisted, the people do stuff that goes against their best interests. If you take jizzing out of the picture.
People are always burning down their lives for the sake of sex. Frickin’ Jerry Falwell Jr., the chancellor of Liberty University, the largest evangelical university in America, and the heir to this vast institution. And he and his wife got involved in this deal where the wife liked to bang other guys and Jerry Falwell liked to watch. And this has been going on for years and years.
And in fact, it probably got Trump elected because back in 2015, there were dirty pictures of Falwell. Somebody was blackmailing with the pictures. And Michael Cohen, the president’s lawyer, somehow got involved or he made the pictures go away.
And in return for this favor, Jerry Falwell Jr. endorses Trump for all the evangelicals, endorse Trump as a good Christian. And this led to the evangelical embrace of Trump, even though Trump is basically Satan, which continues to today.
All because Jerry Falwell and his wife needed to jizz, and another reason Trump got elected was because Anthony Weiner needed to jizz. The whole deal, where the FBI reopened the investigation into Hillary Clinton 11 days before the 2016 election was because Hillary’s right hand woman was married to Anthony Weiner, who even though he’d been caught before, had been forced to resign as a congressman for sexting, still had to go online and sext underage girls. And the FBI reopened the investigation because he was using his wife’s computer, which may have had some of Hillary’s emails on it. And that whole thing cost Hillary two percent in the polls in the last week of the election.
And then you go back to Bill Clinton, who fucked up the whole 21st century because he needed BJ’s. So all these people are burning down their lives and burning down the country and the world for jizzing. So that is a perversion. The amount of suffering that has happened for the minimal amount of joy that the jizzing has given a few people shows that utilitarianism is an incomplete model because it doesn’t address these perversities.
And then before we were taping, you mentioned some perversities that were equivalent. There is a Shirley Jackson story. She was kind of a subtle horror writer in the 50s and 60s where there’s a happy town, everybody’s happy all the time. And for some reason, I forget how. Because one person is chained in some miserable dungeon and tortured and that’s the deal they’ve made.
And utilitarianism would be OK with that equation because so many people are happy and only one person is miserable. So there’s another shortcoming to it. So anyway, you asked me about economics. I think you start with the golden rule and with utilitarianism and then you had to fit reality and experience. And I mean, utilitarianism is pretty much like addition and subtraction, but then you have to learn the rest of math.
[End of recorded material]
American Television Writer
(Updated July 25, 2019)
*High range testing (HRT) should be taken with honest skepticism grounded in the limited empirical development of the field at present, even in spite of honest and sincere efforts. If a higher general intelligence score, then the greater the variability in, and margin of error in, the general intelligence scores because of the greater rarity in the population.*
According to some semi-reputable sources gathered in a listing here, Rick G. Rosner may have among America’s, North America’s, and the world’s highest measured IQs at or above 190 (S.D. 15)/196 (S.D. 16) based on several high range test performances created by Christopher Harding, Jason Betts, Paul Cooijmans, and Ronald Hoeflin. He earned 12 years of college credit in less than a year and graduated with the equivalent of 8 majors. He has received 8 Writers Guild Awards and Emmy nominations, and was titled 2013 North American Genius of the Year by The World Genius Directory with the main “Genius” listing here.
He has written for Remote Control, Crank Yankers, The Man Show, The Emmys, The Grammys, and Jimmy Kimmel Live!. He worked as a bouncer, a nude art model, a roller-skating waiter, and a stripper. In a television commercial, Domino’s Pizza named him the “World’s Smartest Man.” The commercial was taken off the air after Subway sandwiches issued a cease-and-desist. He was named “Best Bouncer” in the Denver Area, Colorado, by Westwood Magazine.
Rosner spent much of the late Disco Era as an undercover high school student. In addition, he spent 25 years as a bar bouncer and American fake ID-catcher, and 25+ years as a stripper, and nearly 30 years as a writer for more than 2,500 hours of network television. Errol Morris featured Rosner in the interview series entitled First Person, where some of this history was covered by Morris. He came in second, or lost, on Jeopardy!, sued Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? over a flawed question and lost the lawsuit. He won one game and lost one game on Are You Smarter Than a Drunk Person? (He was drunk). Finally, he spent 37+ years working on a time-invariant variation of the Big Bang Theory.
Currently, Rosner sits tweeting in a bathrobe (winter) or a towel (summer). He lives in Los Angeles, California with his wife, dog, and goldfish. He and his wife have a daughter. You can send him money or questions at LanceVersusRick@Gmail.Com, or a direct message via Twitter, or find him on LinkedIn, or see him on YouTube.
Scott Douglas Jacobsen
Founder, In-Sight Publishing
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