Monday, January 06, 2014

Rolling Stone: the stupidest economics piece you'll read all year

One of my New Year's resolutions was to quit neglecting my blog so much, and since this is January 6 you can guess how well that's turning out. Other than the calendar, though, the rule is: nothing's changed. Everything I've ever complained about here, from the TSA to the DEA -- nothing's changed. (Well, except that two states have tentatively tried legalizing marijuana, and the DEA has tentatively tried not destroying the lives of state residents who partake. We'll see how long this lasts.)

One thin ray of hope, though: seems maybe there's a growing number of people upset because nothing's changed, maybe enough to one day reach critical mass and demand change. Except .... even if they do, I fear some mob will demand idiotic change which will only make things worse. Consider, for starters, the idiotic editor at Rolling Stone who okayed the article "Five Economic Reforms Millennials Should be Fighting For."

To save you the trouble of clicking, I'll list them for you: guaranteed jobs for all, guaranteed wages for all, abolish private property [item number three: "Take back the land"], abolish private property again [item number four: "Make everything owned by anybody"], and government-owned banks in every state.

The rationale for "taking back the land" is as follows:

    Ever noticed how much landlords blow? They don't really do anything to earn their money. They just claim ownership of buildings and charge people who actually work for a living the majority of our incomes for the privilege of staying in boxes

Imagine my surprise; I'd always thought landlords saved or borrowed money to buy buildings (though some lucky dogs do inherit, it's true).

Confession: since I'll never enjoy anything like a defined-benefit pension when I get old, I was kinda-sorta thinking one day I'd try being a landlady myself -- specifically, perhaps someday my spouse and I can afford a house in the hellishly expensive area where we work, and then when we get old, we could move to a cheaper part of the country while renting out the expensive-neighborhood house. I had no idea this idea was so greedy and evil it ought to be abolished by law -- but then again, I had no idea I could simply "claim" a house, either. Here my fool self has been trying to live frugally and save as much money as I can, because I thought I ever wanted a house of my own I'd have to buy one.


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