“Institutions will try to preserve the problem to which they are the solution.” ~ Clay Shirky
You know the slavery Kool-Aid is working well when those who are oppressed petition their oppressors for more of that which helps keep them oppressed.
For instance, public education is a tool that was designed–specifically and directly–as a means of controlling the hoi polloi. The educational system of compulsory public education championed by Horace Mann, chock-full of multiple-choice testing perfected by Frederick J. Kelly, feeding into statistical models based upon the work of (eugenicist) Sir Francis Galton, was (and is) designed to fulfill the need for employees who are primed and ready to inhabit factories where efficiency can be measured in ways developed by Frederick Winslow Taylor. (The fact that so few of such factories currently exist in America should also be telling, but that’s a different discussion.) Mann believed “universal public education was the best way to turn the nation’s unruly children into disciplined, judicious republican citizens.” The whole thing was designed to produce a seething throng of people ready to take orders, stand in line, ask few questions, and install bumpers all day–accepting the interminable boredom of such a life–while their over-lords made a ton of money. Free and compulsory public education was never intended to create inquisitive, risk-taking, leaders. Or entrepreneurs and/or business owners. Or frankly, owners of anything! Yet, people clamor that “education is a right” and “we need more funding for our schools” despite the inescapable fact that these same crap holes are doing their best at producing children incapable of independent thought and unable to read a book (or a blueprint), solve a simple mathematics problem, or devise a new strategy. It’s damned sad, really.
Massachusetts fisherman Carlos Rafael pulled in what should have been a life-changing fish this week, but before he could unload it for a huge payday, his local chapter of ridiculous-rule-enforcers, A.K.A., the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) enforcement division, took him down. (Whew! That was close.) You see, although Rafeal had filed all the appropriate paperwork to catch tuna, the behemoth in question was caught in his boat’s nets and not via rod and reel, as is specified, well, someplace. As a result, the authorities had no choice but to pinch the fish when Rafael’s boat returned to port. The expected $400,000 payday that could come from the sale of fish will very likely go into NOAA’s asset forfeiture fund. Nice racket. (Or, should that be, nice rod and reel?)
H/T: James Nellis
…cross-posted at LRCBlog.
I am not a smoker. Never have been. Frankly, I admit to thinking it’s a vile habit. Those caveats aside, the treatment of smokers in the U.S. is something of a quandary to me. Here is a group composed of a cross-section of Americana that might be unrivaled in its breadth. Rich people smoke. Poor people smoke. People of color smoke. White people smoke. Men smoke. Women smoke. Young folks smoke. Old fogies smoke. Lawmakers smoke. Hell, even the POTUS has been known to light up a time or two. Truly, everybody is represented on the smoking band wagon. With all that representation, again I ask: Why isn’t there an all-smoking airline? The answer is obvious: because the government says so. The obligatory airline safety briefing contains words to this effect: “Federal regulations prohibit smoking on airplanes.” Why in the hell…?
A friend shares the following story:
I was talking with a buddy of mine last night: a lawyer currently working for the state, getting his MBA on the side. He’s been researching the possibility of setting up a distillery firm, and we talked about it for close to an hour. Very interesting stuff, and he’s got some great ideas for how to break into the market and his unique angle.
But the funny part is that probably 45 minutes of that hour was spent talking about his strategy in light of the manifold regulatory hoops and tax laws he has to navigate. Between licensing and taxes, which as you can imagine for hard liquor are absurd, his business model is 100% dominated by meeting the requirements of the state. Some examples: before you can boil an ounce of alcohol, you need local, state, and federal licensing in place. You can’t get the federal until you have the state and local in place, and getting all three takes anywhere from 8-24 months. The problem is that to fill out the paperwork you have to have the facility, equipment, stock, etc. all in place and ready to go; you can’t fill out paperwork for a nonexistent distillery. So he’s looking at having to hold a facility with the equipment for two years while the feds sit around.
You can’t just put up or rent any building, either. Your firm’s place of business has to be in a Class 3 piece of land, which basically means you have to set up out in the middle of nowhere or in a really depressed part of a city. (He lives very close to Baltimore, so he’ll be going for the latter.)