Monday, November 21, 2011

Trippin' Down Memory Lane

That post from this AM got me thinking about some of the more absurd things Leftists friends and acquaintances have told me over the years.  Hopefully, it will be as entertaining to you as it is to me.  This is probably my all-time favorite.  I will only bore you with the one, for now.

Evil Capitalist
A Masters Education Student (or whatever you call those people), C. would go off in fits of exasperation at me that "business wants to pay the lowest wages possible."  This was in the late 1980s.  BTW, he was an Industrial Education major.

My usual response was, "Yes, don't you want to pay the lowest price possible for the things you buy?"

"But these are people!" he would exclaim.

"Yes, these are people selling labor.  What is your point?" I would reply.

Teacher's Union Thugs
"But they are people not cattle!" He would add emphasis in proportion to the length of the conversation and the amount of beer we consumed and a near-campus drinkery.

"Yes, C. they are people.  Nobody is proposing they sell themselves to be sawn up, their fat rendered into soap and their ribs sold to upscale eateries.  At least nobody outside of Red China or North Korea.  They are people who can do things and other people need to purchase those skills.  Now, why should I purchase those skills for a price that is higher than the price an equally skilled person is willing to provide?"

"But, but, it costs a certain amount of money to live around here."

"It sure does!  Now, why should I have to put my family in hardship to pay someone $20/hr. to work in the widget factory when there are a dozen more who will do the same work, at an acceptable quality level, for $2/hr?"

"But you can't live on $2/hr. around here!"

"No kidding, so if my factory is only making me $20/day with $20/hr. labor, I need to reduce a cost.  So maybe I need to automate."

"Nobody suggested $20/hr . . ."

The erotic allure of automation.
"Then fill in whatever damn number for the hourly labor rate, the whole rate, not just the number that shows up on the employee's pay stub.  The point is, I am not going to pay more for labor than I need to.  If you and your little commie buddies want to jack up wages, then I need to automate and may well need to relocate."

"Wow, it sounds like there is some actual thinking going on in that head of yours, JT.  This deserves further study."

"I thought this was your field of study and where the hell do you get off calling me a Nazi whenever we start talking about this?  There is not a Socialist bone in my body!"  I could get a little animated too, when we got into the second pitcher of beer.

I never got into that look.
"I didn't call you a Nazi."


"Yet.  And why do you call them Socialists?"

"It is in their name and they did the same shit as the Communists."

"The Communists didn't have concentration camps."

"So you want to talk about FDR now?"

Gulags were different than concentration camps?
"Noooo, I mean real concentration camps, where they sent the Jews."

"What do you think the Gulags were?"

"Well, the Communists used unions."

"No, the Nazis reorganized unions, the Communists eliminated them.  One of the first things Castro did was completely eliminate trade unions."

"I need to look into that."

"Along with everything else besides welding, apparently."

Of course, I was wrong about a few things too, back then.  Like who created National Socialism, or wrongly thinking that Mussolini was as equally guilty as Hitler for the Holocaust.

"Captive Factory Girls 2: The Revolt"
On the other hand, it was a great time to discuss factory automation.  At the time, the Japanese labor market had simply run out of labor.  It was just before their big economic crash and crony capitalism/soft National Socialism was all the rage.  Folks like C. thought you could automate, employ everybody, and pay astronomical wages because Japan was doing it.

Milton Friedman Explains It All
Only a few little problems with that line of reasoning.  First, the Japanese protected their markets from many American products (always a no-no from the Libertarian perspective).  Second, they were selling great products all around the world, partly due to government subsidies of their crony-capitalist businesses (another big Libertarian no-no).  Just a few years later, their economy imploded.  The example to look at is the implosion that they still have not recovered from, because they continue their same bad policies.

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