Friday, November 13, 2020

Blue Mirage


Disaffected Groups: "We need to unite!"

Sympathizer: “What shall we unite around?”

Democratic Party organizer: “Our differences!”


“I kind of wanted everyone to lose.”


-------Krystal Ball “Rising,” on the 2020 elections


            The electoral verdict is in and the American people have rejected media drama in favor of thinking for themselves. They dislike Donald Trump’s governance, but are far from pronouncing him an Adolf Hitler clone, having awarded him some nine million more votes than last time around, to the horror of “woke” partisans, who are far more disliked than he is.


            Supposedly a vicious misogynist, Trump’s share of the white woman vote, already a majority, went up. Widely referred to as the most racist president ever, his vote among blacks and Latinos also increased. Allegedly popular only with “white nationalist” voters eager to usher in fascism, his share of white, male, non-college educated voters went down. Either he or they are not as fascist as we’ve been led to believe.


            To repeat: after four years of saturation media coverage denouncing Trump as racist, misogynistic, xenophobic, neo-Nazi scum, more Hispanics, Blacks, and white women voted for him than did four years ago, while his support among the “fascist” demographic declined.[1]


            Meanwhile, the hoped for blue wave that would soundly repudiate President Satan once and for all was nowhere to be seen. The Democrats lost House seats, failed to capture the Senate, and flipped not a single state legislature.[2] 


            Predictably, the corporate Democrats blame the “radical” New Deal base of their party for this dismal performance, ignoring mounting evidence that the programmatic preferences of that base are, in fact, quite popular with the American people, sometimes even with Trump supporters. For example, every swing state House Democrat that supported Medicare For All won while stand-for-nothing “moderates” lost. More striking, “conservative” Florida passed a $15 an hour minimum wage by 60%, and also voted for Trump. Similarly, recreational marijuana won in Montana and South Dakota, and medical marijuana in Mississippi, all states that went for Trump by double digits. Other “radical” proposals, like student debt forgiveness, paid family leave, a Green New Deal (with federal jobs guarantee), and the breaking up of “too big to fail” banks, continue to win strong public support. Perhaps most surprising is a Business News report from this past January headlined “Majority of Americans favor wealth tax on very rich,” a position that “free trade” enthusiasts regard as the very gateway to Bolshevik slavery.[3]


            In short, the American people are not ideological fanatics of either the left or the right, but practical-minded folks seeking a better life by embracing social and democratic norms widely accepted throughout the developed world. But how can corporate America enhance its power and profit out of a “narrative” like that? It can’t, so we hear instead that a deeply-divided country is headed for civil war over cultural issues. If that turns out to be the case, both sides will have succumbed to vulgar sectarian propaganda.


            Chief among the ideological arsonists pushing us in that direction, of course, are Democratic Party elites, currently celebrating Joe Biden’s victory at the polls. But exactly what does this “triumph” prove? No more than that Democrats can win by a narrow margin against a reality T.V. buffoon who won the presidency with a 31 percent approval rating in 2016, and then convinced enough people that they were “better off” during a raging pandemic and economic collapse than they were under Biden-Obama to nearly do it again. Just 150,000 votes in four states would have delivered re-election to Trump.[4] Is this really something to celebrate?


            Recall that this is Biden's fourth time running for the presidency, and each previous attempt showed his public support dropping commensurate with the amount of media exposure he got. In other words, the more people got to know him, the less they wanted anything to do with him. The only reason it turned out differently this time was coronavirus and Trump, a deadly combination that made the doddering imperialist Biden appear marginally less disastrous than reactionary nationalist Trump.


            But nobody really wants Biden, since he had no detectable campaign in the primaries, and barely any in the general election. In lieu of issues, he piously opposed an imaginary American Nazism while making vague references to restoring the nation’s “soul.” But he militantly opposed material aid to Americans trying to survive medical and economic catastrophe, especially single-payer medical care and universal basic income, both achieved elsewhere but not in the “greatest, powerful, decent nation in the world,”[5] as Biden refers to the United States. If it hadn’t been for the black vote in South Carolina and Barack Obama’s successful effort to organize a united front of neo-liberal suck-ups behind him, Biden would have remained mired in the obscurity that characterized his other three campaigns for the presidency.


            So just exactly who is this masked man? To put it simply, he’s a career Reagan Democrat with pugnacious contempt for virtually every key Democratic constituency. Blacks are either “superpredators” (HRC coined the term, but Biden concurs) or spongers on the look-out for “free stuff.” Hispanics are unworthy of attention, unless they express impatience with mass deportation (far higher under Obama-Biden than under Trump) in which case they are contemptuously urged to “vote for Trump.” Young people, their lives torpedoed by Biden and the “free traders” years ago, are crybabies who shirk the responsibility to miraculously rise from the economic rubble. College males are instinctive rapists deservingly subjected to Star Chamber proceedings that destroy their lives and careers before they start. Women exist to be sniffed and fondled, except for gender ideologues, whose “diversity” dogmas are to be exploited for political gain. Seniors struggling on fixed incomes with all the afflictions of advanced age are balanced-budget obstructionists whom Biden must keep in line by slashing their Social Security and Medicare.


            While thus releasing his bowels on the groups that make up the Democratic base, Biden avidly courts the loyalty of a handful of Republicans in the suburbs that have no ideological affinity with any of them. Look no further for reasons why he nearly lost the election: the grim march of the coronavirus death toll was the only thing he had going for him.


            In the face of all this, we are told, quite absurdly, that Joe Biden “underperformed,” which is certainly one way to describe a campaign where the candidate hibernates in his basement to hide an increasingly obvious inability to utter a comprehensible sentence. But we could say with equal validity that Biden and his addled brain over-performed, thanks to an undisclosed pharmaceutical regimen and the weakness of his political opponent, a loud-mouthed imbecile with a lousy record. Obviously, the bar couldn’t have been lower for Biden. All he had to do to achieve the much-desired repudiation of Trump was offer something useful to the American people: Medicare For All, debt relief, a housing guarantee - anything. But he couldn’t, not because he’s under-performing, but because he’s overly-prostituted – to capital and the national security state.


            And who knows how long he can sustain the farce that he has what it takes to be an effective president? Given his frequent lapses into gibberish and embarrassing inability to identify his own whereabouts or what day of the week it might be, it’s very likely he’ll fail to complete his term in office.


            Which brings us to Prom Queen Kamala Harris, a self-declared “top tier” candidate who soared to 2% in the polls before dropping out of the race long in advance of the primaries. Popular with the media, if not with anyone else, she brought melanin and female genitalia to the Biden ticket, neither known to be an effective cure for infectious disease or economic collapse, but nevertheless Biden prerequisites for the vice-presidency.


            Such priorities are reflective of an already failed identity politics that seeks to sever class loyalties with discrete market demographics around gender, race, and ethnicity. The technique is to convert blacks, women, Latinos and other constituency clienteles into professional grievance-mongers entitled to symbolic redress, so as to avoid having to offer anything of political substance to the oppressed majority of the population – subordinated order-takers forced to labor for those who own.


            Diverted by this zero-sum competition of marginalized minorities seeking top victim status, Democrats have come to be known (and increasingly despised) for their wafer-thin multiculturalism and deep identity chauvinism, both oblivious to contradiction.


            Inordinate attention is given to fighting “hate,” which is denounced and penalized with ever greater zeal, making it increasingly difficult to separate the haters from those who would see them properly punished. [New York Times reporter Sheryl Gay Stolberg, reporting on the ground from Charlottesville: “The hard left seemed as hate-filled as alt-right. I saw club-wielding ‘Antifa’ beating white nationalists being led out of the park.”][6]  In short, the more “hate” is condemned, the more it flourishes, and the more that legal penalties are applied to it, the less that real tolerance for others can actually exist. Straight into the trash go mutual concern, shared purpose, compassion, and understanding – the essence of a politics of justice – each deliberately amputated from the body politic by ideological knife blades carving out turf for official minorities.


            New gender identities are continually advanced, whose “cause” pushes into the shadows the increasingly dire problems of an economic majority producing more and more for less and less with no hope of relief. Economic exploitation is forgotten as the aggrieved guardians of identity boundaries mobilize to police attitudes rather than economic priorities. By now it is a familiar sight to see billionaires awash in gluttonous excess compete to become the world’s first trillionaire while far below them on the wealth pyramid ant-size “victims” argue about pronoun use, safe spaces, and toilet access.


            Somehow such discussions have gotten the label “Marxist,” though there is nothing at all Marxist about them. Marxism is a commentary about hierarchically ordered classes in conflict over the production of goods and services necessary to general survival, not a perpetual status squabble about whose intrinsic qualities are most important. The central idea in Marxism was never that workers should “hate” owners (or even that owners necessarily hate them), but that they should organize and overcome the hierarchical structure of classes, so that wealth can be produced and distributed rationally and democratically. The point was not to denounce individual capitalists for embodying evil, but to note that their struggle to avoid bankruptcy required that they embrace cutthroat competition to push down wages to starvation levels. Whatever its flaws, Marxism was at least focused on the contradiction between hierarchical economics and democratic politics, which continues to cause serious and perhaps terminal problems to human society down to the present day.


            But for Democratic Party elites and other adherents of identarian politics this is all quite irrelevant. For them, political conflict involves a moral crusade, not a test of reasoning power and social organization. Thus, the reactionary right must not be opposed by argument and evidence - a pointless strategy against the evil partisans of hate - but by violence and censorship. The enemy must not merely be defeated, but annihilated.


            Obviously, mutual respect based on common appreciation of the unique miracle each of us actually is can have no place in our public discourse if these assumptions are correct. Division of the spoils mediated by selfish competition between “winners” and “losers” is all that there is. Little wonder that many Americans have become so distrustful that they venture out in public only when fully armed. Others consider it proof of great moral courage to break up a “hate” speaking event or physically attack “the enemy” in the streets. It’s true that the United States is flirting with fascism, but it’s anybody’s guess as to which groups are the most “fascistic.” The totalitarian impulse runs along the entire political spectrum.


            For what it’s worth, fascism historically involved a strong charismatic leader of a disciplined, armed party, imposing unity and conformity on the basis of a clear program commanding mass support. It is difficult to see how this applies to Donald Trump, who has no discipline, is too lazy to adhere to doctrine (or even understand it), and who sows chaos and division rather than unity and order. At least as authoritarian as he is are his dogged opponents, who tried to interfere with the electoral college to change the outcome of the 2016 elections, and later staged media show trials (Russiagate) and imposed censorship in order to delegitimize his victory, which to this day they do not accept. Ever since then free discussion has been increasingly hamstrung by tech giant censorship and slimy red-baiting charges against all who criticize, plus the traditional informal imposition of doctrinal unity on all key issues – the Middle East, Russia, “dictators,” free trade, NATO, immigration, climate change, and “diversity.”


            All of which points up the fact that our real dictator is the entertainment and information industry, which holds nearly unlimited power without ever having to endure the indignity of a democratic election.[7]










[1] Matt  Taibbi, “Which is the Real Working-Class Party Now?” November 6, 2020, On Latino support for Trump see Suzanne Gamboa and Carmen Sesin, “Trump’s gains among Latino voters shouldn’t be a surprise. Here’s why.” NBC News Online, November 5, 2020


[2] Ralph Nader, Why Was It So Effing Close? Ralph Nader Radio Hour, November 7, 2020.

[3] Paul Blest, Discourse Blog, quoted by David Doel on the Rational National, November 8, 2020


[4] Krystal Ball and Saagar Enjeti, “Rising,” November 9, 2020

[5] Cas Mudde, “Trump is pushing nationalist myths. But Democrats indulge lavish patriotism, too,” The Guardian, September 20, 2020

[6] Stolberg later amended her tweet, replacing “hate-filled” with “violent,” to accommodate the Trump = Nazi party line. The original and modified tweets can be seen in Blake Montgomery, “Here’s What Really Happened In Charlottesville,” Buzz Feed News, August 14, 2017.

[7] This analysis of identity politics closely parallels that found in Diana Johnstone, Circle In The Darkness – Memoir of a World Watcher, Clarity Press, 2020, pps. 421-423

Monday, November 9, 2020

Unhinged Trump On Verge of Taking Lunatic Measures In Revenge For Election Loss

"Some national security experts are worried that the President could take steps such as ordering all U.S. troops out of Afghanistan . . . ."



"Trump shows transition will be as turbulent as his presidency," CNN Online, November 10, 2020

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Tactile Masculinity vs. Toxic Masculinity: The Case of Joe Biden

A week before Christmas in 1972 Joe Biden's first wife Neilia and their 13-month old daughter were killed by a tractor trailer that crashed into her car as she pulled away from a stop sign. The couple's two sons were also injured in the accident. Recently elected to the Senate from Delaware, Biden wasn't one to wallow in grief, preferring to get started on a long Washington career of inappropriate touching, making what the late Alexander Cockburn reported as "loutish sexual advances" to a female staffer of one of his fellow senators in the well of the Senate just weeks after Biden's wife was killed. 


Half a century later, shoulder-rubbing, nose-touching, hair-sniffing Joe can be observed in many internet videos pawing little girls and boys, this from the sworn enemy of unwanted advances, especially against those who cannot give consent, like children. 

In the face of multiple women complaining of his unsolicited sniffs, kisses, and shoulder massages, Biden hilariously describes himself as a "tactile politician," one who has won great applause from women for supporting the Violence Against Women Act (part of the disastrous 1994 crime bill), which, though it did not reduce the incidence of domestic violence, did substantially erode due process of law, as intended.

Biden has long championed stripping due process rights from college students accused of sexual misconduct. He instituted policy all around the United States based on the assumption that young men accused of sexual assault or rape are automatically guilty. Called before Star Chamber campus proceedings presided over mostly by gender ideologues, these men have often not been allowed lawyers, to know the specific charges against them, or to cross-examine their accusers. They have been judged not by the customary legal standard of "clear and convincing evidence," but rather, by a "preponderance of evidence," the lowest permissible standard, and one that asserts merely that something is more likely true than untrue, a delightfully vague guideline in the eyes of unscrupulous prosecutors, hanging judges, and now, unaccountable college deans. 


Supposedly in the name of gender equality, Biden supports the men-are-rapists-by-nature thesis beneath all this, and automatically accepts the word of a woman as definitive in any case where a man not named Joe Biden stands accused of sexual harassment, assault, or rape. When he himself stands accused, he says Tara Reade has a right to have her claim taken seriously, at the same time as he refuses to open his own Senatorial papers or allow public access to them, a curious stand for a man ostensibly committed to being judged on the basis of the evidence. 


Biden hypocritically claims men need to get involved and support efforts to "always believe" other woman accusers, and to intervene against an alleged tsunami of sexual assaults on university campuses, though one might well wonder what possible good they would expect to come of such efforts, given that a universal "toxic masculinity" has been posited as the cause of the epidemic. Along the spectrum of toxicity one finds only sexual predators and apologists for them, no healthy men. 


Nevertheless, according to the Obama-Biden "It's On Us" campaign, men must somehow assume responsibility to stop "locker room talk" and physically confront any male observed taking a drunk freshman coed up the stairs to his room, that is, if a lecture on affirmative consent fails to tame his beastly impulse to have a woman guest in his room. According to this view, males are brutal, stupid, and sexually predatory by nature, so a man taking a drunk female up to his room can only have criminal sexual intent on his mind. He couldn't possibly be offering his date a safe place to sleep off her intoxication. 


Let's be very careful of totalitarian liberals like Biden, who feverishly imagine weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, hordes of black "superpredators" on American streets, and a rapist in every (male) dorm room. For him, universal surveillance via the Patriot Act was "measured and prudent."


Branko Marcetic, "Yesterday's Man - The Case Against Joe Biden," (Verso, 2020) 

Alexander Cockburn, "'Change,' 'Hope' . . . .  Why They Must Be Talking About Joe Biden!" Counterpunch, August, 23, 2008

Vera Papisova, "Joe Biden Interview on Rape Culture and Campus Sexual Assault," teenVOGUE, April 14, 2017 

Lisa Lerer, "Joe Biden Jokes About Hugging in a Speech, Then Offers a Mixed Apology," New York Times, April 5, 2019

Saturday, October 31, 2020

Trump vs. Biden on Race

 "They were people protesting, very quietly, the taking down of the statue of Robert E. Lee. People that were very fine people - on both sides. I'm not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists, because they should be condemned totally. But you had many people in that group other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists, OK?"

------Donald Trump on Charlottesville


First Presidential Debate

Chris Wallace: "Are you willing, tonight, to condemn white supremacists and militia groups. ."

Trump: "Sure."

Wallace: " . . . and to say that they need to stand down and not add to the violence in a number of these cities as we saw in Kenosha, and as we've seen in Portland?"

Trump: "Sure. I'm willing to do that . . ."

 ------- Cleveland Ohio, September 29, 2020



Chris Wallace: "What are your views on the Ku Klux Klan and white supremacists?"

Trump: "I totally disavow the Klu (sic) Klux Klan. I totally disavow David Duke."

Reporter: "How do you feel about the recent endorsement from David Duke?"

Trump: "David Duke endorsed me? I disavow it."


And Now For The Democratic Challenger 

"I mean you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that's a storybook man."

-----------Joe Biden on Barack Obama (2007)

"If you have a problem figuring out whether you're for me or Trump, you ain't black."

------Biden to Charlamagne tha God on The Breakfast Club (2020)

"Poor kids are just as bright and just as talented as white kids."

-----Joe Biden to the Asian and Latino Coalition in Des Moines, 2019


"They gon' put y'all back in chains."

-----Joe Biden warning blacks against a Mitt Romney presidency (2012)

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Calling this “our democracy” is like slaves referring to “our plantation"



While Americans are re-programmed every four years for the most important desperately crucial national emergency election since the last one, which will assure that Wall Street, the Pentagon, Israel and billionaires maintain power and control over everything that matters, most eligible voters will choose neither of the ruling power’s candidates and in a sense exercise democratic values by refusing to act as majority puppets.


Meanwhile the people of Bolivia and Chile recently went to the polls and in dramatic contrast to America actually voted on substantial issues that could radically change their country’s futures. Bolivia chose returning to the socialist government that had been overthrown by a U.S. aided capitalist -fascist coup and Chile voted to   dump its U.S. influenced fascist-capitalist constitution in favor of a new one to guarantee the rights of all and not just some of their people. However things turn out for them what they did comes far closer to what America needs and democracy can create but what we’ll get is the same system with possibly slightly different actions by the crew of our national model of the Titanic. Escape lifeboats will still be available only to the upper income groups while the rest of us can drown. Sorry, we’re in the “real” world and still being convinced that having a new CEO of a petroleum firm who is a transsexual of color or a bi-polar Semite or a Picasso person with seven eyes and eight breasts is more important than ending dependence on fossil fuels and demanding alternate power sources for the future of our nation and our planet.


With manufactured fears of this multi-billion dollar electoral market being sold as democracy but allegedly threatened by Russia, China, Iran, Cuba, Mexico, Disneyland, Lower Slobovia or other fictional scapegoats, the financial fiasco that grows more criminal and psychotic every day supposedly guarantees freedom to the homeless, the poor, the debtors, the millions without health care and the rest of us to whom everything nature’s corporate capitalism offers is available provided we’ve the market force to buy it. Those of us able to buy are a group getting smaller by the minute with plastic replacing money at a faster clip than ever with debt in the trillions and the only hope of paying it off being prayer, drugs or mass murder. The bread and circuses of a past empire has its present version in the moral pornography of a rich nation with people living on the street, under highways and bridges and being stepped over by good folks on their way to rescue a dog or cat while massive political fund raising assures the richest minority maintains   control of the entire political process. All of this is sanctified by the law of the land, a constitution written by the original 1% to assure that the other 99% would never threaten their power and control, only allowing supposed revolutionary amendments that allow a greater and more diverse professional servant class and guarantee that the overwhelming majority continue to react to the spectacle of a variety show that passes for an electoral process, as people are convinced that the right to vote is the essence of democracy, with little or no consideration about what there is to vote for. With fears of fascism being charged every minute and attributing that threat to the rich if honest simpleton in the white house, there is also the veneration in the minds of the people that the act of voting is the be all end all of fictional democracy. Pssst: the popular depiction of the archfiend fascists of Nazism and Hitler leaves out the fact that they took power through the sacred democratic process of voting, and Germany was generally considered the foremost intellectual and artistic culture of the continent.  Past American dominance of the world was never dependent on our exceeding Canada and Mexico in thought and creativity except when it came to making and using weapons to slaughter millions while proclaiming love for mankind, democracy and other good stuff. The point being that fascism is an aspect of capitalism at an extremely critical crisis during which the most repressive among the ruling class take power and make life better for some and worse for others but in a fashion beyond the usual fake manner which calls attention to poverty, war and social degeneracy as aspects of awful “other” social formations. This is currently the expression of the alleged fascist putz in the white house while his alleged liberal foes engage in the most repressive reactionary politics in the usual guise of democracy in America: Our evil is lesser than their evil. Vote for polio or you’ll get cancer!


Before we were struck by the pandemic spread by market forces, more than half a million Americans were homeless. More than 8 million have since descended into poverty while the billionaire class has expanded its wealth to even more outrageous extremes than before. And while our national situation disintegrates under the moral assault on life and nature called the free market, no less than the World Bank warns of the titanic debt threatening the globe with the poorest countries already facing hardship beyond anything previously experienced in trying to approach paying off debts they owe to richer nations which often got rich by stealing their national wealth through colonialist oppression. The bank warns against global collapse unless the world does something about the fact that the richest 2 thousand people own more wealth than four and a half billion humans combined.  


 These are not among the issues brought before the American public this election season when Trump’s personal tax figures and sex life take precedence over the fact that his open adoration of Israel and Netanyahu exceeds that of the entire American congress which all but publicly buried its face in his crotch when he spoke to the assembled recipients of Israeli lobby wealth for their political campaigns. Trump openly says he doesn’t need the Israeli lobby’s money so his passion is accepted as sincere where as much of congress and past white house occupants gleefully accept the much needed millions to “democratically” treat the last colonial nation in the world as some divine aspect of humanity.


The outcome of the election may not be known for hours, days or weeks after its conclusion due to the conditions brought about by the pandemic alongside other breakdowns in our political economy. Speculations about whether the post office will sell our ballots to Russia or China or Trump’s family will use them to gain more credit at Amazon or that fascism or civil war will take place are beside the point. Feverish fears or realistic panic, the fact is that Wall Street, the Pentagon, Israel and Billionaires will remain in control of the nation and future acceptance of the lie that this represents democracy will not just make things worse, but much worse than ever before. This needs to be the last vote that accepts the lie of national democracy and must lead to the creation of a new national political party to represent the majority of Americans currently having our lives bargained at a corrupt market and equally corrupt political process over which we exercise no control. 


Social conditions may become more dreadful in the short term after this hopefully last exercise of fake democracy. Whatever the lesser evil outcome of the ruling class owned and controlled exercise of the present moment, we need immediate action on the part of the people being bled physically, mentally and spiritually for fictional nonsense we are always fed, never more than during this latest outburst of truly fake democracy. We need the real thing and we need it fast. That struggle has already begun and it needs to take on much greater speed after November3, 2020.


Friday, October 23, 2020

SHHHH! Even Bigger Buletins Than This!!!



Russia hacked into U.S. computer networks in recent days, and many intelligence officials say it shows Moscow is a bigger election threat than Iran.

Thursday, October 22, 2020 3:48 PM EST

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Missing the biggest threat of all to our cherished democracy ! Even bigger than the threat of Israel owning/renting/leasing the White House and Congress!!

Tens of thousands of illegal aliens from Mexico, El Salvador, Yemen, Libya, Belarus, New York and California have already voted in special election deposit boxes set up in downtown areas of Cleveland, Springfield, Dayton, Omaha and Teaneck! Who is behind this nefarious attempt to crush the world's greatest democracy with the world's lowest turnout and the world's highest payroll of professional political hustlers working for our richest and therefore obviously superior minority of more diverse than ever upper privileged classes?

You'll never guess! The folks who invented the corona virus, racism, poverty, war, famine, gastric acidity, ingrown toenails, cancer , Donald Trump, and more, are behind this dreadful plot! And they can be found in and at the White House, Congress, Wall Street, the Pentagon,the Mall,the Israeli lobby, the Mall,the  banks,the NYTimes,the Mall,Facebook, Google,the Six O'clock News, the Ten O'clock News, the Mall,Twitter Tweets,the  YouTube Conspiracy To Take Your Mind Off Reality Ltd. and other places where misguided citizens congregate to consume mostly  useless and needless commodities to sink into unpayable debt.




Wednesday, October 21, 2020

When I Hear the Word "Efficiency" I Reach For My Revolver

"Economists have highly ideological ways of measuring costs. I'm sure you've had this experience, but suppose you want to order an airline ticket, fix a mistake on your bank statement, suspend your newspaper delivery, or whatever it may be. It used to be you could make one call, talk to somebody, and take care of the problem in two minutes. Now what happens is you call a number, and you get a recorded message that says, 'Thank you for calling. We appreciate your business. All of our agents are busy.' First of all, you get a menu that you can't understand, and it doesn't have what you want on it anyway. So then it says wait for somebody. Then you wait and they play a little song, and every once in a while this recorded voice comes on asking you to keep waiting - and you can sit there for an hour waiting. Finally somebody comes on, who is probably in India, doesn't know exactly what you're talking about, and then maybe you will get what you want, but maybe not.

"The way economists measure this, it's highly efficient. It increases productivity, and productivity is what's really important, because that's what makes life better for everyone. Why is it efficient? Because businesses are saving money. The costs are being transferred to consumers, of course, but that's not measured. Nobody measures the amount of time that it takes you to get some simple task done or to correct errors, and so on. That's just not counted. If we were to count such real costs, the economy would be extremely inefficient. But the ideological principle is that you count only the costs that matter to rich people and corporations."

-----Noam Chomsky, Imperial Ambitions - Conversations On The Post-9/11 World, pps. 193-4