It’s the Bilkonomy, Stupid

“If one man has a dollar he didn’t work for, some other man worked for a dollar he didn’t get.”

A felon sheltered by Josef Stalin himself diagnosed the ailment plaguing the 2022 American economy in 20 words 100 years ago. What does that tell you about what the US of A has become?

William Dudley “Big Bill” Haywood was an American born commie who died from a cirrhosis of the liver induced stroke in Moscow May 18, 1928. He was named as a co-conspirator for the murder of ex-Idaho governor Frank Steunenberg when Harry Orchard spilled his guts in a 64-page confession. Clarence Darrow got Big Bill, who was almost certainly guilty, off with one of those typically windy summations. The prosecution’s case was weakened by Orchard’s record of double-crossing and bloody past. Somebody was paying the assassin who was desperate to dodge the noose. Naming the wrong names wouldn’t have been helpful for the future of Orchard’s neck. Haywood lammed it to Russia when out on bail facing other charges years later.

Adam Smith, Ludwig Mises and Friedrich Hayek couldn’t have teamed up to put it more clearly than Haywood. The irony is sharpened by the fact that most of the parasites clinging to us now aren’t even aware of their blood-sucking. The poker axiom, “If you do not know who the patsy is—you are the patsy,” has been inverted. Culprits, who professionally gush aloud about the have-nots, walk right past the hungry footing their tab toward the highest-dollar flesh-pots they can find. The ones forgoing flesh, once there, are the holiest rollers of them all.

We live in a place and time where people who rant publicly about a “living wage” and a deprived underclass are the very same ones eating the other half’s lunch. When people can’t distinguish genuine “work” from conformity to a system they supposedly oppose — somebody else is toiling to maintain their ideological angst. Informing these grifters of that status quo is a good way to get labeled a “fascist.”

Now, let’s look at some details. In 1970 the minimum wage was $1.60 an hour. In that same year according to the NYT – third Google hit saying roughly the same thing BTW – average rent was $108 a month. Using that rate as a standard a minimum wage earner would work 67.5 hours to satisfy the landlord in 1970. Today the minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. General reports, that swing wildly, place average rent at about $1600. We are dealing with crude reckoning here – all things are not equal in that 52 year span. Still, it would take 220 hours to make rent using the same calculus today.

There were more workers making minimum wage in 1970. But it would take a 75% raise to bring rent down to 40 hours. That raise must pass 400% to equal five 8-hour days in 2022. The guys laying bricks, framing walls and running pipe have not widened their arc on the pie chart.

Is it possible more partakers are in the housing equation than in 1970? If so, what do they provide? Whatever figures we find plausible covering that time frame, one thing is not debatable. Housing disparities are worse than ever and the qualifying demands of renters are more stringent.  Do we find ourselves in a new improved environment complicating such transactions? Are we for or against homelessness?

Why should it be so much harder now than it was 40 years ago to keep a roof over head? A perfect example of what actual producers are up against is going on in L.A. A “charitable” action by the municipality, for the benefit of those who contribute nothing to the local economy, has blossomed into another juicy opportunity for already rich schemers who contribute nothing to the local economy. A plan to house the homeless has reached a cost of $837,000 per unit. No wonder authorities in the Golden State turn a blind eye on shoplifting. The ones saving the deprived are robbing honest citizens blind plying angles that are perfectly legal.

When government and other so-called “non-profit” organizations stay busy inventing useless positions that pay in the six-figures everyone else with any bargaining pull must raise the stakes to keep up. Anyone who puts in a full week turning out goods and services we all need will be bidding in the housing market against those on sinecures.

These days you see a medical specialist for five minutes to be informed “it’s healing naturally, come back in two-weeks” at $300 a crack. The doc is just maintaining the pace. Others granted license to print money much less effort are today’s number one inflationary force. People who advocate perpetual elevation of the debt ceiling don’t want anyone noticing that. When the powers that be declare that another trillion suddenly exists, that money is being spent exactly the way yours is – usually by people who don’t punch a clock or have their performance reviewed.

We are supposed to believe there are kinks in the “supply chain.” Maybe there are, but when you subtract from the supply, without adding to it, those who do get ripped off. The main cause of an empty store shelf is a dearth of production and excess of consumption. How can human beings raising crops, manufacturing goods and moving them down the highway meet the demands of taskmasters who simply decree “there will be more”? Corn ripens in the same number of days, a car still has to be assembled and a willin’ teamster must continue to be wary of the smokies.

When you Google “the Department of Homeland Security is a scam” the first hit you’ll get comes from the Identity Theft Resource Center. It’s a department of the Department warning people they could get a call from con-artists masquerading as them. Identity theft and the great American identity crisis might be related.

If you traversed the watering holes, coffee stores and other venues of common conversational currency inside the beltway, while the imposition known as DHS was being put upon us, only the shallowest rubes were taken in. “It’ll be another bottomless boondoggle” was the word from anyone who knew their around the capitol village. That included those with access past the Praetorian Guard. Insiders conveniently forgot what they said to the rabble once checks started rolling in with locomotive force. Soon Potomac River fat-cats would maintain the racket was legit and quickly change the subject. Any further pursuit of the details in a public place would render inquiry as “harassment.” This defense mechanism is being adopted by everyone participating in mandated Madoff schemes.

Can we please get a voice with a teeming audience to ask: “When does the cost of national security become a threat to national security?” It was 20 years ago for those who need to ask. Our country took fewer losses and kept others armed and fed in WWII not only due to geography. A nearly indefatigable economic engine was also a big factor. Well, fatigue has set in.

Accountability almost never starts at the top anywhere. We’d be safer if the smug at court felt secure in their tight circles. They don’t. The elite keep spreading the pelf around to expanding ripples of the “right people.” It’s never wide enough to improve the lot of anyone who doesn’t get a fair deal. It’s always a new deal that entitles special people who are experts at caring. While the cared about stay right where they are every time.

H. L. Mencken said, “Whenever you hear a man speak of his love for his country, it is a sign that he expects to be paid for it.” You can exchange “his country” for “the human race” these days. Education administrators and tenured profs, pulling down six-figures, think odes to humanity must permeate every college course hour. Ingrates, who don’t make 1500 times minimum wage with summers and a month for Christmas off, are getting nauseated by the poesy. Most would be satisfied by a modest fraction of the square footage, trips to the shore and nights on the town Ivory Towerians think of as just desserts.

Government intrusions into housing, education, medicine and other human needs are not lightening the load of the unconnected. The national security industry’s main insecurity comes at them from the people they are supposed to be securing. The best tables are always set for people who never come close to pulling their weight. Until major media sets a daily focus on the shakedown – they are part of the problem.

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