TANSTAAFL and other myths.

Updated: Mar 28

“The toe bone’s connected to the foot bone. The foot bone’s connected to the shin bone. The shin bone’s connected to the knee bone…” sirens sing-songing all the way up my leg. Michelle and Teresa were strippers at the Cheetah III, both fabulous fake-haired, contact-wearing, liposuction carnivals, back when “Snake Nation” was Atlanta’s lubricious Las Vegas impersonation of the Nazis winning the war… for the North. I was in the backseat of their Sunbird convertible on the way to the Waffle House on Peachtree at about 6:30 am one the-south-will-rise-again morning when they told me they were both going to bop my baloney when we got home, no charge. And when we did, they did.

Robert Heinlein was the best science fiction writer ever in the bubillion year history of the universe, and for an astronomical-distance into the future, despite having gone to the Naval Academy, and he always hammered home the seemingly-obvious idiom: there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch. I hate to give any swab credit for anything, especially a USNA grad, but he’s a fellow writer which trumps the (wrong) military affiliation, but when they’re right, they’re right.

My lingeringest memory of the night of the fast wily felines, was a few days later when Nurse Ratched was shoving a catheter-like instrument up my wang, and her homosexual henchman, Steven, was holding onto my hands and saying “You can do it, Timothy, you can do it!” I’m a tremendously creative person, but it was worse than my worst imagined Tom of Finland hospital nightmare come true. What genius said you can ignore reality but you can’t ignore the consequences of ignoring reality?

I’ll quote Wikipedia now: “Gonorrhea can be prevented with the use of condoms, having sex with only one person who is uninfected, and by not having sex.” From now on I’m going to choose “D”–all of the above.

Another myth I’d like to debunk, this time historically and not hysterically, is that the 19th Century “robber barons” were bad, and exploited the poor, mercilessly, for their own callous enrichment. Um, no. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Let’s start off with the obvious: there are bad people in the world. Some who are truly evil, and who do cruel things, and need to be erased. Everywhere. And at all times. Always were, always will be. 19th Century America was no different, and had its share of scoundrels, chiselers, and cheats. Lotta unshaven scrimshankers, shivs, and snake-oil salesmen too. What else is new?

The names are familiar to us all, so let’s just start with John D. Rockefeller, the richest man in the world at the time, and almost of all time. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say he invented, or at least made possible, the middle class in America. I’m not kidding. It’s hard for us to imagine today, but Standard Oil’s effect on our country was, and still is in a lot of ways, astounding. He built it up from nothing, with no government “help”–people bought his products because they made life better and easier.

There was no coercion, or “rent seeking” or subsidies that mask the true cost of reality, and always end up being paid by the taxpayer, whether they want to or not. Without these back-handed clandestine deals today's utopian narrative would collapse, because the do-gooders wouldn’t pay the enormous real costs of their virtue-signaling, because at heart, they’re all cheapskate hat and no cattle.

Andrew Carnegie was one of the most benevolent men in the world, spearheading the largest private charity movement in the history of this country, building over 1,500 libraries, FREE TO ALL, out of his own magnanimous pocket. No government agencies. No tax dollars. No strings attached. The Commodore, Cornelius Vanderbilt, and his church donations and higher education philanthropy including his eponymous university, was legendary. Who’s doing anything like this now?

Companies today rely on the government for their success, which again, ends up being paid by taxpayers. I’m thinking broadcast licenses for television and radio, or electric car rebates, wind and solar power tax credits, the military-industrial complex, a voracious machine feeding on the expensive agony and profit of wars. It’s an ugly racket, and the list goes on. So who are the real robber barons?

The Great Depression was not a failure of the free market, or the capitalist system, but was a failure of the Federal Reserve to follow the sound fiscal policies that would have avoided it. They didn’t, despite the pleading of many, many people who knew they knew better. So why did the Fed-heads stay the course that they knew would lead to disaster–the closing of 1/3 of the banks in America, bankruptcies, foreclosures, unemployment, starvation, for years and years for millions of Americans. I’m convinced it was intentional, to strengthen and expand the power of the Federal Reserve, and make more people dependent on government, thus increasing its power too. I know very little about economics, but the numbers are too damning to have been a mistake. I subscribe to Jung’s observation that if you don’t know the cause, then look at the result and infer the motivation. So I’ve come up with my own law, and it’s the reverse of Hanlon’s Razor. I’m calling it Cataldo’s Sword: never attribute anything to incompetence or stupidity which is adequately explained by malice.

In another article, I’ll talk about the Robin Hood myth, which is romantic as hell–I mean, who doesn’t love the picturesque Errol Flynn? And the second laughable narrative fairy tale I’ll chuck out there is that government expansion is due to public demand, not coercion–two comedies playing out right in front of our eyes on a daily basis, jackbooted in by a corrupt ruling class, complicit media, and swallowed hook line and sinker by a gullible public. Actually, gullible is the wrong word–how about complacently-ignorant and benevolence-believing and not often enough skeptical citizenry instead?

And lastly: Americans aren’t prejudiced on the whole, even though there are some despicable pockets of vice and true villains out there, even though they’re not who you think. Which will bring the discussion around to class antipathy, which is the actual culprit when it comes to dividing our country–not ethnicity, class, religion or geography.

I’ll finish up with my opinion on why the two worst government-sanctioned and intentionally-destructive obstacles for the underclass to overcome and be able to rise up out of their poverty are the lack of school choice, and the minimum wage. And that these are imposed and still rigidly enforced with forethought and malice.

Insert Cataldo's Sword here. Oh, yeah, I just remembered: it was Ayn Rand.

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