The Journal


Serving the Metropolitan Area


Since 1872


May 6th




By Jack Parnell - retired Congressman and Independent Presidential candidate


Syndicated by Acme Features


“We don’t only make the things you want, we make the things you didn’t even know you want.”

- Larry the Cable Guy, Prilosec Spokesman


          Remember as I said what Mr. Grady, up in Philadelphia, warned us about? That... this side of a Stephen King book or "Saw" movie... there's no happenstance more likely as to chill the blood as hearing some knock on your door, followed by these words: "Sir, we're from the government, and we're here to help you!"

          Got problems? Republicans will likely refer you to a cop, Democrats to a social worker or community organizer. Lady in Bowling Green, in her 70s, late 70's by now, got told there was a ten year waiting list for board and care for her blind, retarded… well, let’s go PC and use the word “special”… 50 year old boy back in '13, then wrote me, recently, sayin' that the gumment had changed its mind owing to the statewide cuts in Medicaid; now there'd be a twelve year wait. Should have told her to load up one barrel of the shotgun for her boy, the other for herself... but even Catfish manifest occasional Squeamish tendencies as argue against the telling of certain ruthless truths in times when hope is not.

          Probably it is just that I've gone Squeamish in my old age. But even conservative economists like Milton Friedman and Alan Bloom disagreed among themselves, let alone with liberals, on how far freedom, without justice, justifies the free market. "Weakening belief in the justice of capitalism poses severe practical dangers for liberal democratic societies," Bloom finally admitted on the doorstep to the Land Beyond, leading some nine-ninety-niners, flat taxers and flatter-earthers to accuse him of stabbing liberty in the back.

          Nearly fifty years ago, economist Louis Kelso published "The Capitalist Manifesto", as took extreme exception to decisions by Roosevelt and the New Dealers to mitigate effects of the Depression with social programs instead of restructuring the economy... a folly that’s percolated down to present Democratic policies on welfare (absent the make-work requirements and opportunities of the WPA, TVA and other New Deal enterprises), posited against the conservative faith in incarcerating our way out of the poor (if not poverty), financed by sheaves of Chinese IOUs.

          "The nation declared war on the effects of poverty," Kelso noted (emphasis added, anticipating Thomas Piketty and, to a degree, Elizabeth Warren), "rather than mounting an attack on poverty's sole cause: lack of capital ownership. The decision to concentrate on redistributing the fruits of production - income - can only create a crippled, strife-ridden socialist prosperity... built on coercively rigged wages and salaries, redistribution, welfare and debt."  Or, as now, the worser half of that.

          Karl Marx, himself, intended to tackle productive as opposed to unproductive labor in his projected fourth volume of Kapital: "Theories of Surplus Value" where, as critic Ian Gough maintains, his notes show a distinct affection for the physiocratic view (as holds services like cutting lawns and flipping burgers "unproductive" while letting FIREmen and rentiers off the hook). One almost wishes this smelly, panhandlin’ old Commie lived long enough to complete his opus - we would have, then, not been vexed with the Marxist detour... its sour decline into socialism, then liberalism, finally the inevitable termitic neo-liberalism of the Clinton-Obama=Biden wings of the Democrat Party-insect.

          Of late, I've become aware of another Marx... beyond Karl, Groucho, Harpo and Chico... Karl's Afro-French son-in-law, Paul Lafargue. His 1883 essay (completed in a French jail for having written other works, as were decreed "incitements to pillage"… which charge might well be applied to any glossy magazine advertising stuff Americans cannnot afford to buy) argued that workers are to blame for overproduction... oppressing poor capitalists, as must devour the fruits of their surplus productivity through "unbounded luxury, spicy indigestibles and syphilitic debauches."  (Not to mention a hungersome hunger for the Prilosec after debauching!)  Only the three-hour day would deliver beleaguered termites from the selfish workers' greed for work, Lafargue concluded, in this book he titled: "The Right to be Lazy".

          Certainly there are few traits... except, perhaps, liberalism... so despised and derided in America today as sloth. Physical sloth, I hasten to add... mental, moral and intellectual laziness and the pride taken in same being part and parcel of organized Entropy's spiderweb as minimalizes the tax returns screwing anybody earning five figures or less down to the size of a postcard.  We respect and celebrate mindless busyness and simple, destructive solutions, runnin’ round like roaches on a griddle. Feudalism, a system in which "everyone belonged to someone, and everyone else belonged to the king," said cranky old Eugene McCarthy, a while back, has a new application " which everyone belongs to a corporation and everyone else belongs to the Federal Government."

          Regrettably, Geno neglected those whom neither corporations nor gumment want anymore - those fated to occupy un-privatized prisons and riverbeds and abandoned urban wastelands in ever increasing numbers, or those too old, too sick or too differently-educated as the gumment’s unemployment counters choose not to count. So the lady in Bowling Green should at least understand that gumment has its reasons for keeping her boy on its waiting lists as grow longer with the upstream flow of time.

          Those who live by rent, by wages and by profit, Adam Smith noted, "are the three great, original and constituent orders of every civilized society." Though calling their common interests "inseparable", Smith additionally allowed that the landlords and financiers "...are the only one of the three orders whose revenue costs them neither labor nor care," and predicted their estate would decline, owing to the "indolence, which is the natural effect of the ease and security of their situation" as would render them helpless in the face of "public regulation".

          Too bad ol’ Invisible Handjob didn’t draw out his own conclusions to realize that a Fourth Order would manifest… or metastasize, as it did… the horde as live by such public regulation as most rentiers and financeers are.resigned to supporting (and taking the costs off their taxes).

          "We enjoy all the achievements of modern civilization that have made our physical existence on this Earth easier in so many important ways. Yet we do not know exactly what..." Czech Republic ex-President Vaclav Havel echoed Burt Bachrach, at a July 4th fete in Philadelphia back in the day, " do with ourselves, where to turn. Experts can explain anything in the objective world to us, yet we understand our own lives less and less. In short, we live in the post-modern world, where everything is possible and almost nothing is certain."  That was before he kicked the bucket more’n a decade back; in his place over thisaway, we’ve got a Chief Executive who tells us “the truth is not the truth.”

          "When people go through life being told by the mass media that the times in which they live are worthless or narcissistic or passive, it becomes harder and harder for them to believe their lives have consequence," echoed symbolic historian Peter Carroll in "It Seemed Like Nothing Happened", setting down a few cinderblocks as would form the foundation of Identification Principal in anticipation of the plague days when nothing did happen (except a lot of frustration from those as had their stimulus payoffs misfiled or appealed to be tested with tests that… for the want of a q-tip… went untested..  He suggests that them as need heroes where there are none in real life will turn to movies and television and music, politics and sports (or, to marry the four in some perverse union the neo-libs will demand reparations and special bathrooms for, the sort of paid-patriotic spectacles currently under fire, theatrics which Joseph Goebbels would’ve ridiculed as reducing the Peanut Gallery from participants to spectators). Thank God for the occasional Charles Barkley, as probably ruined his political future as a candidate for Alabama Governor against Hank Junior by snarling "I am not a role model!" during a 1993 Nike commercial:

          "I am not paid to be a role model. I am paid to wreak havoc on the basketball court. Parents should be role models. Just because I dunk a basketball doesn't mean I should raise your kids."