The Anointed Know Why You’re Fat And What To Do About It

A couple of news items landed in my inbox recently that aren’t directly related, but they’re both examples of the Vision of The Anointed at work.

I gave a brief summary of The Vision of The Anointed (as described by economist Thomas Sowell in a book by that name) in a speech I called Diet, Health and the Wisdom of Crowds.  If you haven’t seen it, here’s a recap of how The Anointed (who are nearly always members of the intellectual class) operate:

  • The Anointed identify a problem in society
  • The Anointed propose a Grand Plan to fix the problem
  • Because they are so supremely confident in their ideas, The Anointed don’t bother with proof or evidence that the Grand Plan will actually work
  • If possible, The Anointed will impose the Grand Plan on other people (for their own good, of course)
  • The Anointed assume anyone who opposes the Grand Plan is either evil or stupid
  • If the Grand Plan fails, The Anointed will never, ever, ever admit the Grand Plan was wrong

The first news item that reminded me of The Anointed was about an (ahem) study that pinpoints the reason we have an obesity problem in modern America.  Here are some quotes:

A new report puts some of the blame for Americans’ expanding waistlines on the growth of new Wal-Mart supercenters in the US.

Big box retailers, and Wal-Mart in particular, have made cheap, bulk-size junk foods more readily available, and Americans are eating more as a result, argues the report, which was published by the National Bureau of Economic Research.

“We live in an environment with increasingly cheap and readily available junk food,” Charles Courtemanche, an assistant professor of economics at Georgia State University and one of the report’s co-authors, told the Washington Post. “We buy in bulk. We tend to have more food around. It takes more and more discipline and self-control to not let that influence your weight.”

Well, there you have it.  People are fat because there’s more food around.  I remember asking my grandparents when I was a wee child, “Grandma, Grandpa … why aren’t you fat?”  And my grandpa plopped me on his knee and rubbed my head and said, “Well, we would be if we could.  But if you go look over there in the pantry, you’ll see we’re down to a few slices of bread and some carrots.  It happens all the time because there’s no Wal-Mart nearby and we can only afford to eat just as much as we should.”

The researchers found higher rates of obesity in areas dense with supercenters, which have a larger selection of food and also offer other services, such as auto repair. Just one additional supercenter per 100,000 residents increases average body mass index in the area by 0.24 units and the obesity rate by 2.3% points, they found.

Riiiight.  And since correlation proves causation, that means Wal-Mart is making people fat.  It couldn’t be, say, the fact that low-income people are more likely to be fat for all kinds of reasons, and that Wal-Mart super-centers are built where their most loyal customers live.

Notice how nobody who blames obesity on lower food prices can explain why the wealthiest Americans also have the lowest rates of obesity?  If it’s all about affordability, then wealthy people should be the fattest – they can eat whatever they want and as much as they want.  But no, it’s only if we’re talking about poor people that we blame affordability – and thus Wal-Mart.

“These estimates imply that the proliferation of Wal-Mart Supercenters explains 10.5% of the rise in obesity since the late 1980s,” researchers wrote.

Uh-huh.  And I’ll bet you all had no idea what to blame for obesity, then just stumbled across this data during a wide-open search for truth, then came to your astonishing conclusions.

Of course that’s not what happened.  These bozos with PhDs went looking for a reason to blame Wal-Mart and – ta-da! – they found it.  Intellectuals blaming Wal-Mart for the ills of society … now that is a shock.

In case you haven’t noticed, The Anointed are contemptuous of Wal-Mart and the people who shop there.  This article in the Atlantic, written by a Brit, describes the snobbery rather nicely:

As a young man I aspired to live and work in the US because I wanted to be part of a thriving classless society. Of course that was naive. America is not a classless society. I’m not talking about the 1% and the 99%, and I’m not talking about mainstream America and the underclass (shocking though that gulf is). I’m talking about elite disdain for a much larger segment of the country. It’s a cultural thing: American snobbery.

Many of my American friends have an irrationally intense loathing of Wal-Mart, as though delivering bargains to the masses isn’t quite proper.

In America elite and demotic cultures aren’t merging, they are moving farther apart. The elite is ever more confident of its cultural superiority, and the demos, being American, refuses to be condescended to. I don’t think it’s economic pressure that causes much of the country to cling bitterly to guns and their religion, as Obama put it so memorably. It’s a quintessentially American refusal to be looked down on.

[The elite] may use a self-conscious rhetoric of non-judgmentalism – words like ‘inappropriate’ and ‘challenging’, or phrases such as ‘people in need of support’ and ‘people with issues’ – but they have no inhibitions about instructing others about what food they should eat, how they should bring up their children, or what forms of behaviour are healthy.

Well said, my British friend.  You just described The Anointed.

Here are some similar thoughts from an essay in The National Review:

A few weeks ago, I was very much amused by the sight of anti-Wal-Mart protests in Manhattan — where there is no Wal-Mart, and where, if Bill de Blasio et al. have their way, there never will be. Why? Because we’re too enlightened to let our poor neighbors pay lower prices. The head-clutchingly expensive shops up on Fifth and Madison avenues? No protests.

Ironically, the anti-Wal-Mart crusaders want to make life worse for people who are literally counting pennies as they shop for necessities. Study after study has shown that Wal-Mart has meaningfully reduced prices: 3.1 percent overall, by one estimate — with a whopping 9.1 percent cut to the price of groceries. That comes to about $2,300 a year per household, savings that accrue overwhelmingly to people of modest incomes, not to celebrity activists and Ivy League social-justice crusaders.

And here’s a quote from Member of The Anointed Bill Maher explaining how Wal-Mart shoppers choose to vote:

Republicans need to stop saying Barack Obama is an elitist, or looks down on rural people, and just admit you don’t like him because of something he can’t help, something that’s a result of the way he was born. Admit it, you’re not voting for him because he’s smarter than you.

Uh, no, Bill, that’s not quite it.  It’s more along the lines of something Milton Friedman once said:  it’s not intelligent people who are the problem.  The problem is people who are so impressed with their own intelligence, they feel qualified to tell others how to live.

Barack Obama can’t help it if he’s a magna cum laude Harvard grad and you’re a Wal-Mart shopper who resurfaces driveways with your brother-in-law.

Ahh, Bill, so that’s the reason.  Wal-Mart shoppers resent smart people with Ivy League degrees.  Strangely, many of those Wal-Mart shoppers later voted for Mitt Romney, who earned both a law degree and an MBA from Harvard.

Brilliant argument.  Maher chides Republicans for saying Obama is an elitist who looks down on rural people, then makes it perfectly obvious that he, an Obama enthusiast, is an elitist who looks down on rural people.  (I’m pretty sure he didn’t mean Wal-Mart shopper as a compliment.)

Gee, Bill, I would think someone with your towering intellect would recognize how thoroughly you just undermined your own argument.   Of course The Anointed look down on rural people and Wal-Mart shoppers.  And despite what you and your fellow left-wing snots think, the rural Wal-Mart shoppers are smart enough to know it.

That sneering attitude towards “Wal-Mart shoppers” is the reason I can’t stand Bill Maher.  He’s a left-wing snot, and his live audience is full of left-wing snots who whoop and cheer at his snotty comments as a form of congratulating themselves for what they see as their superiority to people who shop at Wal-Mart and resurface driveways.

Even though I spent a chunk of my life as a comedian, I’ll be the first to say that if all the comedians disappeared, life would be less entertaining, but we’d be fine.  If all the magna cum laude graduates from Harvard Law School disappeared, we’d also be fine, if not better off.  But if all the people who know how to resurface driveways or otherwise build and repair stuff disappeared, we’d be screwed.

Anyway, you get the point.  The Anointed view Wal-Mart shoppers as idiots.  And since they’re idiots, the Wal-Mart shoppers are stuffing themselves and getting fat because – thanks to the low prices offered by the evil Wal-Mart – they can now afford to stuff themselves.  I mean, it’s not as if any of them have actually tried to lose weight or anything.

So The Anointed see all these stupid Wal-Mart shoppers getting fat, which means The Anointed must come up with a Grand Plan to fix the problem – and of course, as The Anointed, they aren’t expected to provide any evidence that the plan would work.

The plan that came out in the media recently was proposed in 2010 by none other than Jonathan Gruber.  If the name isn’t familiar, it should be.  Gruber was once called “the architect” of ObamaCare by Democrats … until he embarrassed himself and the party by getting himself caught on video telling the truth about what it took to pass ObamaCare:

Yup, “the architect” was justifying lying to the public about what ObamaCare would actually do.  The voters are stupid, ya see — one of the only two reasons anyone resists a Grand Plan proposed by The Anointed — so you have to lie to them to get a bill passed that’s really for their own good.

Gruber’s statements so perfectly captured the attitude of The Anointed, The Anointed in the Obama administration immediately tried to disown him.

Meanwhile, Bill Maher renewed his credentials as a member of The Anointed by agreeing with Gruber:

On Friday, Bill Maher, host of HBO’s Real Time, brought up Jonathan Gruber, the economist who was an advisor and main architect on Obamacare and got caught crediting the “stupidity” of Americans to get the bill passed. Maher joked they were “soulmates” and likened his fellow Americans to dogs, and didn’t understand why anything Gruber said about the average American’s stupidity was considered controversial.

Maher’s audience applauded wildly, as they always do for their hero.

By the way, the subtitle of Sowell’s book is Self-Congratulation as a Basis for Social Policy.  When Bill Maher agrees that you have to lie to the stupid voters to do what’s best for them and his audience of left-wing snots hoots and cheers in response, that’s a fine example of self-congratulation.  They were probably high-fiving each other for not being stupid voters … you know, the kind who shop at Wal-Mart and resurface driveways and don’t understand that we need The Anointed to make important decisions for us … such as what kind of health insurance we’ll be allowed to buy.

That’s the attitude.  Now here’s the kind of Grand Plan the attitude produces:

Jonathan Gruber, long credited as the architect of ObamaCare, once discussed the necessity of taxing fat people by body weight in order to fight obesity.

“Ultimately, what may be needed to address the obesity problem are direct taxes on body weight,” Gruber wrote in an essay for the National Institute for Health Care Management in April 2010, just months after helping design ObamaCare with the president in the Oval Office and during the period in which he was under contract as an Obama administration consultant.

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it at least twice:  whenever The Anointed come up with a Grand Plan to fix a problem, it somehow always requires confiscating other people’s money or limiting their freedom to make their own decisions — or both, for a REALLY Grand Plan.

So there’s the mind of The Anointed at work:  people are fat because Wal-Mart has made food too cheap.  All those people who resurface driveways with their brother-in-law are overeating because they can afford to … and because they’re stupid and have no discipline.  But if The Anointed impose direct taxes on bodyweight, the stupid driveway resurfacers will say to themselves, “Well, heck, I can’t afford those taxes!  I’d better stop eating so much of this cheap Wal-Mart food and lose some weight.”

And then once again, The Anointed will have fixed society’s problems.  All hail The Anointed.

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223 thoughts on “The Anointed Know Why You’re Fat And What To Do About It

  1. Ed

    Bill Maher states over and over that he is a Libertarian. Every time he opens his mouth he demonstrates that he doesn’t even understand what a Libertarian is.

    On another note, since going LCHF (thanks Tom) I have lost more than 40 pounds. If they ever pass a tax on weight I expect a large tax refund.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton

      That’s yet another reason I don’t like Bill Maher. He calls himself a libertarian because (I guess) he think it makes him sound more independent-minded than just calling himself a liberal Democrat. But his beliefs don’t come anywhere close to libertarian beliefs on most issues.

      It honked me off one time when an acquaintance asked how I lean politically. When I said “libertarian,” he replied, “Oh, like Bill Maher!” Grrrrrr…

      If Maher starts rooting for Rand Paul to run for president on his show, I’ll believe he’s a libertarian — maybe.

      Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Then I take it you resurface driveways using some Ivy-League method? Bill Maher seems to think Wal-Mart shoppers all do some sort of manual labor — not that there’s anything wrong with manual labor.

      Reply
  2. PJ (RightNOW)

    I grew up in southern coastal California, in a tiny little town that is pretty much now owned by the invading hordes of celebrities and stockbrokers. Now I live on the flat edge of the Ozarks in NE OK. I’ve also lived in Oregon, Washington, Texas, and Connecticut.

    I went back to CA a few years ago briefly, to the more mid-Northern bay-area part, and every day, at least a dozen times, people made angry-snarky-insulting-arrogant-insult jokes about ‘neocons’ and ‘conservatives’ and ‘flyover territory’ (with a few occasional outings to ‘Fox’ and ‘Rush’). Seriously, if blacks got this much prejudice in Georgia in the 50s I’d be surprised, not that it wasn’t worse in many ways obviously, but I wouldn’t think the average person felt the need to “live and breathe an obsession with the subject” like seemed to be going on.

    I am not easily offended, and I consider myself a California girl so I actually didn’t take it personally, but I noticed it because of where I live now and because I live in an area where, oddly, people do not obsess so much on rabid anger that you can’t have a single conversation without maligning some entire class of people (most of whom you’ve never met). It was so weird. I mean had I been at some kind of “political rally” and run into this I would think well, they’re all people who go to political rallies so I guess they’re a little obsessed, and I wouldn’t have thought much of it in that case. But these were ordinary people all over the place.

    It reminded me of studying pre/WWII Germany in high school and how it was considered a “solidarity psychological group bonding” of the people that they could all focus on and hate the same people (the jews, mainly but not only). I actually started laughing at one point when I realized that while something (media? I don’t know) might have successfully made everybody’s who’s not on the coastline or liberal the enemy, that this is a hilarious mass group to choose for your prejudice, because there’s MORE OF THEM. I mean that’s gotta complicate things, although surely it makes it easy to always have someone available to mock.

    It’s like being prejudiced against people who are overweight. So when the majority of the culture IS overweight, how does THAT make sense?

    Anyway, I was “agog” level confused and horrified by it. And the great irony was that they were all SO CONVINCED that EVERYONE believed this — apparently their media says so?? — that it never even occurred to them that they were being horrifically prejudiced, that they were behaving like total morons frankly (and I *liked* many of these people personally, which was worse), or that it might not be appropriate to spout these things openly everywhere, to everyone — including to someone they were actually trying to be NICE to (me) who just finished telling you they are from the midwest, hello?

    This went on with people ranging from clerks to physicists. It was so pervasive that I felt like I had fallen into some kind of surreal alternate reality. Maybe SF is its own world, because I don’t recall my much-more-southern world being anything like that. A tiny bit… but I left in early ’95.

    It poisons everything. I work for a big corp that has offices across the country and people even make insulting jokes and references in business meetings (talking about customers who happen to be in the group they’re insulting). I try to help my voice ice up before saying, “I’m calling in from Oklahoma.” And wait for the hilarious pause-of-horror after which everyone rushes to tell me, “Oh but not you of course! Not you! You’re cool, you’re cool!” hahahaha yeah. Right.

    Cultural prejudice will always exist to some degree, but the challenge of civilization is to learn to recognize it and do what we can to ensure that neither ours nor anybody else’s ruins the lives of either friend or foe through that ignorance; it is injust. It doesn’t matter if it is about race or religion or country of origin or one’s choice of clothing or gender or sex-with-noodles or whatever it is that seems to set people apart from others. We’re just a bunch of bipeds trying to get by, raise the kids, and resurface driveways for a living. This doesn’t seem difficult to understand. But apparently the more intelligent someone thinks they are, the more impossible it is for them to actually understand the most basic fundamentals of life, like that it has to be lived in the middle of a whole lot of other people. Well I guess if all your people are indoctrinated by the same media-cult the situation changes. Or if you happen to have tons of money, the situation changes.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton

      Sounds very much like my experiences in L.A. I live in the south now, in one of most reliably conservative counties in the country, and I never hear people here spew the kind of venom about liberals that I heard liberals spew about conservatives in L.A. But they’re all about tolerance out there, ya know. Yup, they tolerate liberal whites, liberal blacks, liberal Asians, liberal Hispanics, liberal Jews, liberal Christians, you name it.

      Reply
  3. PJ (RightNOW)

    Oh and by the way. The city I live in now was ‘taken over’ by Walmart, which came in and many other stores went out of business. I considered that sad. Except that, of course, Walmart’s prices are actually better on most (not all) things. And except that, of course, a city of people get the stores they deserve, think about it: if we really all desperately wanted Fred’s Grocer to stay in business, we should have shopped there.

    We did shop at Marvin’s, and his little grocery is now 3x the size and half a block away than before Walmart came in.

    The local Ace Hardware survived by actually employing more people, you are nearly accosted when you enter the store by multiple overly helpful people, because their manager felt like that was what SWM (where you’re lucky to find someone to help you after hiking all over the place) couldn’t do better.

    You know what likely affected businesses just as much? Chain foods. Pizza Hut and Dominoes and a Walgreen’s pharmacy-grocer-misc.store. Mom&Pop diners, gone. Why don’t we blame them?

    Everybody votes with their wallet, no matter what they say on their signs. When Walmart succeeds it’s because THE PEOPLE VOTED. Nobody forces people to shop at Walmart.

    Stores don’t go out of business when Walmart is freshly new. They go out of business over the next 1-3 years because people realize that they prefer many things SWM offers and they shop there instead of at Fred’s.

    Protesting against the building of a given brand store, IF you are a LOCAL, I totally respect — wave your signs, SHOP AT FREDS IN BUSINESS FOR 72 YEARS!, I am totally for that, that is ‘competition’ at the grassroots. But anybody ELSE protesting is ridiculous — what’s it to them where other people shop?!

    Oh it’s ok they go to whole paycheck for their overpriced food but I’m not allowed to get cheap chicken thighs to share with my spoiled cats? Because hey, I shop at Marvin’s too, just to support it, even when it costs more, because I recognize my place of responsibility for keeping it because it has other qualities I want, like a big gluten-free section, and occasional bulk buys, and it isn’t the size of Montana to walk through, and it’s closer to me, and managers I can talk to and get them to order offbeat stuff for me.

    (As for the previously-employed-elsewhere, maybe some of them now work at Walmart, I don’t know. They likely weren’t making any more money to stock shelves at Fred’s Grocer or John’s Hardware store than they would be at Walmart. And there’s many car places in town so I don’t think they hurt that biz much.)

    The rest of my paycheck that isn’t spent on bills, local stores etc., goes to amazon.com. Literally. I buy food there, supplements there, books and movies and music there, most of my holiday and gift shopping, I have prime shipping and kindle unlimited and a new “echo” I keep talking to (she cannot tell me the future, alas — I asked) and 2 Fires and Fire TV and S3 storage and Cloudfront for my web — Amazon almost owns my soul. Google owns all my media. I’m pretty sure Amazon’s dent in my paycheck is hurting my city much more than Walmart’s (and PS how do you know the people who own the smaller places live in your city? Many don’t). And I’m pretty sure Google doing everything free I had to pay for before they came along matters somewhere too.

    My late uncle resurfaced driveways and parking lots. Ah, the fresh smell of asphalt in the morning, heh. He was a hard workin’ man, a California boy who ended up in Cour d’Alene ID, and I would happily take that one of him over of any number of pompous arrogant elitists. How sad and insecure and foppish they are. I’d like to drop them into a military regiment and let real life and having to live up close and personal with a whole lot of “perfectly ordinary” men of every color and background educate ’em about “reality.” Because apparently the ivory tower of celebrity money and media and maybe just certain areas of the country are a whole surreal Stepford-Human-Zone, depriving people of character development, unless cartoon characters count.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton

      Well said. And I agree that Amazon has probably killed more local businesses than Wal-Mart by a long shot. But Amazon is cool, and Bill Maher’s fans probably buy from Amazon, so it’s okay. Oh, and you don’t have to see people who resurface driveways when you shop on Amazon.

      Reply
      1. Kathy in Texas

        Had me at sex-with-noodles(LOL at the visual) and cheap chicken thighs to share with my spoiled cats(speaks to my heart).

        Actually, this has been/is a great thread. I love the ones with lots of comments.

        Reply
    1. Tom Naughton

      It’s what I expected: when they do realize how wrong the dietary advice has been, they’ll have to back away from it one step at a time.

      Reply
  4. Ed

    Bill Maher states over and over that he is a Libertarian. Every time he opens his mouth he demonstrates that he doesn’t even understand what a Libertarian is.

    On another note, since going LCHF (thanks Tom) I have lost more than 40 pounds. If they ever pass a tax on weight I expect a large tax refund.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      That’s yet another reason I don’t like Bill Maher. He calls himself a libertarian because (I guess) he think it makes him sound more independent-minded than just calling himself a liberal Democrat. But his beliefs don’t come anywhere close to libertarian beliefs on most issues.

      It honked me off one time when an acquaintance asked how I lean politically. When I said “libertarian,” he replied, “Oh, like Bill Maher!” Grrrrrr…

      If Maher starts rooting for Rand Paul to run for president on his show, I’ll believe he’s a libertarian — maybe.

      Reply
      1. Firebird

        He’d routinely diss Ron Paul as a whack job. You cannot be Libertarian and do that! In my world, I’d take Ron over his son Rand any day. Rand is a little bit too the right for my liking. Not Ted Cruz or Sarah Palin, but some things that comes out of his mouth make me want to bang my head on the desk.

        Reply
  5. PJ (RightNOW)

    I grew up in southern coastal California, in a tiny little town that is pretty much now owned by the invading hordes of celebrities and stockbrokers. Now I live on the flat edge of the Ozarks in NE OK. I’ve also lived in Oregon, Washington, Texas, and Connecticut.

    I went back to CA a few years ago briefly, to the more mid-Northern bay-area part, and every day, at least a dozen times, people made angry-snarky-insulting-arrogant-insult jokes about ‘neocons’ and ‘conservatives’ and ‘flyover territory’ (with a few occasional outings to ‘Fox’ and ‘Rush’). Seriously, if blacks got this much prejudice in Georgia in the 50s I’d be surprised, not that it wasn’t worse in many ways obviously, but I wouldn’t think the average person felt the need to “live and breathe an obsession with the subject” like seemed to be going on.

    I am not easily offended, and I consider myself a California girl so I actually didn’t take it personally, but I noticed it because of where I live now and because I live in an area where, oddly, people do not obsess so much on rabid anger that you can’t have a single conversation without maligning some entire class of people (most of whom you’ve never met). It was so weird. I mean had I been at some kind of “political rally” and run into this I would think well, they’re all people who go to political rallies so I guess they’re a little obsessed, and I wouldn’t have thought much of it in that case. But these were ordinary people all over the place.

    It reminded me of studying pre/WWII Germany in high school and how it was considered a “solidarity psychological group bonding” of the people that they could all focus on and hate the same people (the jews, mainly but not only). I actually started laughing at one point when I realized that while something (media? I don’t know) might have successfully made everybody’s who’s not on the coastline or liberal the enemy, that this is a hilarious mass group to choose for your prejudice, because there’s MORE OF THEM. I mean that’s gotta complicate things, although surely it makes it easy to always have someone available to mock.

    It’s like being prejudiced against people who are overweight. So when the majority of the culture IS overweight, how does THAT make sense?

    Anyway, I was “agog” level confused and horrified by it. And the great irony was that they were all SO CONVINCED that EVERYONE believed this — apparently their media says so?? — that it never even occurred to them that they were being horrifically prejudiced, that they were behaving like total morons frankly (and I *liked* many of these people personally, which was worse), or that it might not be appropriate to spout these things openly everywhere, to everyone — including to someone they were actually trying to be NICE to (me) who just finished telling you they are from the midwest, hello?

    This went on with people ranging from clerks to physicists. It was so pervasive that I felt like I had fallen into some kind of surreal alternate reality. Maybe SF is its own world, because I don’t recall my much-more-southern world being anything like that. A tiny bit… but I left in early ’95.

    It poisons everything. I work for a big corp that has offices across the country and people even make insulting jokes and references in business meetings (talking about customers who happen to be in the group they’re insulting). I try to help my voice ice up before saying, “I’m calling in from Oklahoma.” And wait for the hilarious pause-of-horror after which everyone rushes to tell me, “Oh but not you of course! Not you! You’re cool, you’re cool!” hahahaha yeah. Right.

    Cultural prejudice will always exist to some degree, but the challenge of civilization is to learn to recognize it and do what we can to ensure that neither ours nor anybody else’s ruins the lives of either friend or foe through that ignorance; it is injust. It doesn’t matter if it is about race or religion or country of origin or one’s choice of clothing or gender or sex-with-noodles or whatever it is that seems to set people apart from others. We’re just a bunch of bipeds trying to get by, raise the kids, and resurface driveways for a living. This doesn’t seem difficult to understand. But apparently the more intelligent someone thinks they are, the more impossible it is for them to actually understand the most basic fundamentals of life, like that it has to be lived in the middle of a whole lot of other people. Well I guess if all your people are indoctrinated by the same media-cult the situation changes. Or if you happen to have tons of money, the situation changes.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Sounds very much like my experiences in L.A. I live in the south now, in one of most reliably conservative counties in the country, and I never hear people here spew the kind of venom about liberals that I heard liberals spew about conservatives in L.A. But they’re all about tolerance out there, ya know. Yup, they tolerate liberal whites, liberal blacks, liberal Asians, liberal Hispanics, liberal Jews, liberal Christians, you name it.

      Reply
  6. PJ (RightNOW)

    Oh and by the way. The city I live in now was ‘taken over’ by Walmart, which came in and many other stores went out of business. I considered that sad. Except that, of course, Walmart’s prices are actually better on most (not all) things. And except that, of course, a city of people get the stores they deserve, think about it: if we really all desperately wanted Fred’s Grocer to stay in business, we should have shopped there.

    We did shop at Marvin’s, and his little grocery is now 3x the size and half a block away than before Walmart came in.

    The local Ace Hardware survived by actually employing more people, you are nearly accosted when you enter the store by multiple overly helpful people, because their manager felt like that was what SWM (where you’re lucky to find someone to help you after hiking all over the place) couldn’t do better.

    You know what likely affected businesses just as much? Chain foods. Pizza Hut and Dominoes and a Walgreen’s pharmacy-grocer-misc.store. Mom&Pop diners, gone. Why don’t we blame them?

    Everybody votes with their wallet, no matter what they say on their signs. When Walmart succeeds it’s because THE PEOPLE VOTED. Nobody forces people to shop at Walmart.

    Stores don’t go out of business when Walmart is freshly new. They go out of business over the next 1-3 years because people realize that they prefer many things SWM offers and they shop there instead of at Fred’s.

    Protesting against the building of a given brand store, IF you are a LOCAL, I totally respect — wave your signs, SHOP AT FREDS IN BUSINESS FOR 72 YEARS!, I am totally for that, that is ‘competition’ at the grassroots. But anybody ELSE protesting is ridiculous — what’s it to them where other people shop?!

    Oh it’s ok they go to whole paycheck for their overpriced food but I’m not allowed to get cheap chicken thighs to share with my spoiled cats? Because hey, I shop at Marvin’s too, just to support it, even when it costs more, because I recognize my place of responsibility for keeping it because it has other qualities I want, like a big gluten-free section, and occasional bulk buys, and it isn’t the size of Montana to walk through, and it’s closer to me, and managers I can talk to and get them to order offbeat stuff for me.

    (As for the previously-employed-elsewhere, maybe some of them now work at Walmart, I don’t know. They likely weren’t making any more money to stock shelves at Fred’s Grocer or John’s Hardware store than they would be at Walmart. And there’s many car places in town so I don’t think they hurt that biz much.)

    The rest of my paycheck that isn’t spent on bills, local stores etc., goes to amazon.com. Literally. I buy food there, supplements there, books and movies and music there, most of my holiday and gift shopping, I have prime shipping and kindle unlimited and a new “echo” I keep talking to (she cannot tell me the future, alas — I asked) and 2 Fires and Fire TV and S3 storage and Cloudfront for my web — Amazon almost owns my soul. Google owns all my media. I’m pretty sure Amazon’s dent in my paycheck is hurting my city much more than Walmart’s (and PS how do you know the people who own the smaller places live in your city? Many don’t). And I’m pretty sure Google doing everything free I had to pay for before they came along matters somewhere too.

    My late uncle resurfaced driveways and parking lots. Ah, the fresh smell of asphalt in the morning, heh. He was a hard workin’ man, a California boy who ended up in Cour d’Alene ID, and I would happily take that one of him over of any number of pompous arrogant elitists. How sad and insecure and foppish they are. I’d like to drop them into a military regiment and let real life and having to live up close and personal with a whole lot of “perfectly ordinary” men of every color and background educate ’em about “reality.” Because apparently the ivory tower of celebrity money and media and maybe just certain areas of the country are a whole surreal Stepford-Human-Zone, depriving people of character development, unless cartoon characters count.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Well said. And I agree that Amazon has probably killed more local businesses than Wal-Mart by a long shot. But Amazon is cool, and Bill Maher’s fans probably buy from Amazon, so it’s okay. Oh, and you don’t have to see people who resurface driveways when you shop on Amazon.

      Reply
      1. Kathy in Texas

        Had me at sex-with-noodles(LOL at the visual) and cheap chicken thighs to share with my spoiled cats(speaks to my heart).

        Actually, this has been/is a great thread. I love the ones with lots of comments.

        Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      It’s what I expected: when they do realize how wrong the dietary advice has been, they’ll have to back away from it one step at a time.

      Reply
  7. Pam

    I don’t know how accurate this story is — it was told to me by a dear elderly lady whose husband was a minister at the church the Waltons attended in Chicago and was a great admirer of the Waltons. Anyway, Mrs. Walton, who dressed simply and gave generously to the church, once approached another lady wearing a showy and expensive new hat and told her that although she claimed she couldn’t give much money to the church, if she hadn’t wasted her money on such a fancy new hat, she would have a lot more money to give to the church!

    Reply
  8. Pam

    I don’t know how accurate this story is — it was told to me by a dear elderly lady whose husband was a minister at the church the Waltons attended in Chicago and was a great admirer of the Waltons. Anyway, Mrs. Walton, who dressed simply and gave generously to the church, once approached another lady wearing a showy and expensive new hat and told her that although she claimed she couldn’t give much money to the church, if she hadn’t wasted her money on such a fancy new hat, she would have a lot more money to give to the church!

    Reply
  9. Barbara

    On television this morning they were talking about how the star basketball players are more injured then they were in the past. A lot of these players have gone vegetarian or semi-vegetarian. Do you feel this “break down” a part of the “science” of the anointed?

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton

      No idea on that one. Basketball seems to have become a full-contact sport. I expect them to start wearing helmets and shoulder pads any year now.

      Reply
  10. tony

    Although WM may have lower prices, it may not be economically advantageous to shop there.

    You need to factor in the miles’ cost of transportation, which can be easily calculated by adding the cost of your car net of estimated trade-in value, cost of gasoline, maintenance and repair and dividing the sum of these items by the expected miles you plan ride your car before you trade it in.

    In addition, you also need to factor in the cost of time spent going to, shopping at and returning from WM. For example, Tom may charge $200 an hour for his services and if he is going to spend one hour in a round shopping trip to WM to save $50, he would come out behind.

    On the other hand, if you are like my wife who loves to troll thru WM, even though she may not buy a lot, you could say that these costs are for entertainment.

    Bottom line: Nobody has ever forced me to shop at WM. I should be able to go there if I want regardless of the nonsense spouted by that cabal of crypto-marxist/leninist “protesters.”

    Reply
    1. Firebird

      There are three Wal-Marts 1-4 miles from where I live…no problems in transportation and there is a Sam’s Club gas station at one of them that offers the cheapest gas in the area!

      Reply
  11. Barbara

    On television this morning they were talking about how the star basketball players are more injured then they were in the past. A lot of these players have gone vegetarian or semi-vegetarian. Do you feel this “break down” a part of the “science” of the anointed?

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      No idea on that one. Basketball seems to have become a full-contact sport. I expect them to start wearing helmets and shoulder pads any year now.

      Reply
      1. tony

        I’ve watched professional basketball for decades and it’s always been a contact sport. Football is a collision sport.

        Reply
        1. Tom Naughton Post author

          Just seems to me that there’s a lot more banging into each other now than when I was a kid. That could just be me getting cranky about it in my old age. I rarely watch professional basketball anymore because half the game consists of someone standing there shooting free-throws after a foul.

          Reply
  12. tony

    Although WM may have lower prices, it may not be economically advantageous to shop there.

    You need to factor in the miles’ cost of transportation, which can be easily calculated by adding the cost of your car net of estimated trade-in value, cost of gasoline, maintenance and repair and dividing the sum of these items by the expected miles you plan ride your car before you trade it in.

    In addition, you also need to factor in the cost of time spent going to, shopping at and returning from WM. For example, Tom may charge $200 an hour for his services and if he is going to spend one hour in a round shopping trip to WM to save $50, he would come out behind.

    On the other hand, if you are like my wife who loves to troll thru WM, even though she may not buy a lot, you could say that these costs are for entertainment.

    Bottom line: Nobody has ever forced me to shop at WM. I should be able to go there if I want regardless of the nonsense spouted by that cabal of crypto-marxist/leninist “protesters.”

    Reply
    1. Firebird

      There are three Wal-Marts 1-4 miles from where I live…no problems in transportation and there is a Sam’s Club gas station at one of them that offers the cheapest gas in the area!

      Reply
  13. gollum

    A I have never been in a Walmart, or in the States for that matter. Certainly they do stock Mr. Carbagel and Krusty Flakes, now with 20% more fructose. Aisles of it?

    B I don’t know about the Anointed, but when someone Important needs to lose fat, they do know. Not by a balanced diet of whole crabs. Look up female UK MP-to-be (thus, the need for fat loss?) diet. I believe it was something like Eggs. More eggs. Meat. Whisky (oddly only on meat days?!). This was in the 70s. Proles left to suffer for further decades.

    Reply
  14. gollum

    A I have never been in a Walmart, or in the States for that matter. Certainly they do stock Mr. Carbagel and Krusty Flakes, now with 20% more fructose. Aisles of it?

    B I don’t know about the Anointed, but when someone Important needs to lose fat, they do know. Not by a balanced diet of whole crabs. Look up female UK MP-to-be (thus, the need for fat loss?) diet. I believe it was something like Eggs. More eggs. Meat. Whisky (oddly only on meat days?!). This was in the 70s. Proles left to suffer for further decades.

    Reply
  15. Babs

    Tom you may have talked about this already, but it has crossed my mind recently that the reason we need all the cheap grains and garbage is that without it we would actually have mass starvation. There really probably is an overpopulation problem. No cheap grains may mean starvation.

    Reply
  16. Babs

    Follow-up to previous comment: For example, rarely can you buy any kind of beef for under $3 a lb. Even pork I feel like it’s a bargain to get it for $2.99/lb. Luckily chicken is always reasonable and my tikes enjoy that more than anything (except meatloaf). Of course these prices are supermarket, not grass-fed.

    I should add my husband is an engineer and I am part-time earning probably at the 60th percentile what women my age could earn.

    What I am saying is with 2 small children and parents with the most ideal earning potential you could hope for, our grocery budget eating meats and very little pasta and processed grain is huge. If we earned any less it would be a situaton of pick your poison (starve or eat the grains). And that may be where many people are at.

    Reply
  17. Dan

    “If the Grand Plan fails, The Anointed will never, ever, ever admit the Grand Plan was wrong”

    As pointed out by many before, certainly Friedman..Grand Plans don’t fail because they are wrong, they fail because they aren’t Grand enough in funding and/or enforcement. This is always true and these are the only possible sources of failure for any Grand Plan.

    If anyone needs to verify this, see education.

    Reply
  18. Babs

    Tom you may have talked about this already, but it has crossed my mind recently that the reason we need all the cheap grains and garbage is that without it we would actually have mass starvation. There really probably is an overpopulation problem. No cheap grains may mean starvation.

    Reply
  19. Babs

    Follow-up to previous comment: For example, rarely can you buy any kind of beef for under $3 a lb. Even pork I feel like it’s a bargain to get it for $2.99/lb. Luckily chicken is always reasonable and my tikes enjoy that more than anything (except meatloaf). Of course these prices are supermarket, not grass-fed.

    I should add my husband is an engineer and I am part-time earning probably at the 60th percentile what women my age could earn.

    What I am saying is with 2 small children and parents with the most ideal earning potential you could hope for, our grocery budget eating meats and very little pasta and processed grain is huge. If we earned any less it would be a situaton of pick your poison (starve or eat the grains). And that may be where many people are at.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      The people who developed semi-dwarf wheat were, in fact, trying to prevent worldwide starvation. Semi-dwarf produces 10 times the yield per acre. Their intentions were noble. The wheat they produced is cheap, and given a choice between eating the stuff or starving to death, I’d take their wheat.

      Reply
  20. Dan

    “If the Grand Plan fails, The Anointed will never, ever, ever admit the Grand Plan was wrong”

    As pointed out by many before, certainly Friedman..Grand Plans don’t fail because they are wrong, they fail because they aren’t Grand enough in funding and/or enforcement. This is always true and these are the only possible sources of failure for any Grand Plan.

    If anyone needs to verify this, see education.

    Reply
  21. Bret

    If possible, The Anointed will impose the Grand Plan on other people (for their own good, of course)

    Speaking of which, I have just finished Jacob Sullum’s For Your Own Good: The Anti-Smoking Crusade and the Tyranny of Public Health — threw it on the list three years ago when I first saw Fat Head, but just got around to it now — and it was AWESOME. I always enjoyed Sullum’s thoughtful and logical opinions, both on screen and in print at Reason, but that book showed me he is also a voracious and skilled researcher, much like Gary Taubes.

    As both Sowell and Sullum articulated, political action done for the citizens’ own good is indeed one of the most sinister forms of tyranny. What disgusts me immensely is just how many people seem to welcome such disasters of economics and of liberty. These seemingly innumerable cheerleaders are clearly conflating the goals of these policies with their actual consequences, and are sorrily ignorant of the latter in any case.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton

      Sullum doesn’t smoke, but defends the rights of smokers to smoke. He doesn’t eat junk food, but defends the rights of people to eat all the junk they choose. I like the way he thinks.

      Reply
  22. Bret

    If possible, The Anointed will impose the Grand Plan on other people (for their own good, of course)

    Speaking of which, I have just finished Jacob Sullum’s For Your Own Good: The Anti-Smoking Crusade and the Tyranny of Public Health — threw it on the list three years ago when I first saw Fat Head, but just got around to it now — and it was AWESOME. I always enjoyed Sullum’s thoughtful and logical opinions, both on screen and in print at Reason, but that book showed me he is also a voracious and skilled researcher, much like Gary Taubes.

    As both Sowell and Sullum articulated, political action done for the citizens’ own good is indeed one of the most sinister forms of tyranny. What disgusts me immensely is just how many people seem to welcome such disasters of economics and of liberty. These seemingly innumerable cheerleaders are clearly conflating the goals of these policies with their actual consequences, and are sorrily ignorant of the latter in any case.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Sullum doesn’t smoke, but defends the rights of smokers to smoke. He doesn’t eat junk food, but defends the rights of people to eat all the junk they choose. I like the way he thinks.

      Reply

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