Luddism

Is Your Suitcase Causing the Recession? An L.A. Times Special Report

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She may look like a sexy girl, but she's really an international master thief.

Conservatives had plenty of fun and larfs at President Obama's expense recently, after the commander in chief called out ATMs and kiosks as job-killers. Here's what Obama said in a June 14 Today Show interview: 

[T]here are some structural issues with our economy, where a lot of businesses have learned to become much more efficient with a lot fewer workers. You see it when you go to a bank and you use an ATM, you don't go to a bank teller. Or you go to the airport and you're using a kiosk instead of checking in at the gate. So all these things have created changes in the economy. And what we have to do now, and that's what this job council is all about, is identifying where the jobs of the future are going to be. How do we make sure that there's a match between what people are getting trained for and the jobs that exist? How do we make sure that capital is flowing into those places with the greatest opportunity? We are on the right track. The key is figuring out, how do we accelerate it? 

Now there is some Grade A Stoopit in this quotation. I'd start with the delusional belief that a D.C. jobs council is going to identify "where the jobs of the future are going to be" throughout the 50 states and Guam. Or the ominous suggestion that bureaucrats are going to make sure capital is flowing into the appropriate places. Or the truly terrifying possibility that the economic experience of the past 30 months is about to be accelerated. 

But surely japery like this is over the top: 

I mean, ha ha, but there's no way anybody believes that. The president was drawing a lesson about creative destruction, not suggesting ATMs and kiosks have destroyed wealth. Seriously, only a drooling manchild in coveralls could believe something so preposter…uh… 

Oh, hey! It's Hugo Martín of the Los Angeles Times, with a business-page article headlined "Rolling bags cost airports millions." 

Millions? Is it the scuffed floors? No, it's the lost SmarteCarte revenue:

"That is the nationwide trend: More and more people don't use luggage carts," said Sven Stohn, chief executive of Bagport Group, which runs cart rentals at airports in Philadelphia, Boston and Phoenix. "Through the past two years, I think revenue has dropped up to 23%."

Easy-rolling luggage and airline baggage fees get most of the blame.

Wheels have been on suitcases for decades, but the design took off after Northwest Airlines pilot Bob Plath came up with the idea for a suitcase in 1987 with built-in wheels and an extendable tow handle.

"All of our luggage has wheels on them, except the small carry-on bags," said Stephanie Goldman, a spokeswoman for Samsonite, one of the world's largest luggage manufacturers.

And now that passengers are packing fewer belongings to avoid airline baggage fees, travelers say it is largely unnecessary to pay between $3 and $5 to rent airport luggage carts.

Martín gets extra points for a deliciously diabolical counterintuitive conflation: Early in the article he reveals that $1 million of this lost revenue doesn't come from rolling luggage at all, but from regulations that require vendors to provide free carts to international travelers. There's an obvious solution to that problem: Just put a new tax on international flights that will provide enough revenue to make the cart vendors whole for all the money they're losing. It's only fair. 

But is there any other bright spot in this tale of technological terrors so out of control that we actually may have to reinvent the wheel?

There is! Although the link is up above, I originally read Martín's story in a paper-and-ink version of the paper. Because if I hadn't, I would literally have been stealing money from the printer's devils, ink salesmen and newspaper carriers whose lives are being destroyed by heedless, heartless capitalism. 

NEXT: Wagnerian Ticket Schwindle: Government Gives Bigshots All the Good Seats

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  1. Tim got Fruit Loop crumbs all over Reason‘s kitchen floor this morning. Matt said if he didn’t stay late, don’t bother coming in on Monday.

    1. Seriously. Go to bed, Tim.

    2. It’s my opinion that Tim is best after dark. Put a scotch and water in him, and then let him off the chain.

      1. That or as the original webslinger of Hit and Run he knows how to automate his posts so they post at night at the start of a long weekend to insure all of us will read and comment on them.

        Tim is fast asleep and has been for hours.

      2. Tim Cavenaugh – From Somalia with Love: An Essay on My Long and Dangerous Cock-Schlong (3:11 am, July 2, 2011)

        Oh, woe is the Matt Welch and Nicholas Gillespie who forceth me to stayeth late to clean up the Fruit-Loops I spilleth on the floor. But my cocketh is biggeth for the Hit & Runneth bloggeth to loveth in time.

        I hateth the smelleth of my cock-schlong. My cock schlong is too big for my ego.

        Stop!

        What is that? Is it Gillespie coming to bitcheth about my lacketh of eating over my bowl? Well, fuck you, Nicholas. Your shirt sucks!

        And it just keeps going on like that.

        1. Submit.

          …Oh, shit.

          1. wait…

            Did this happen?

        2. Don’t you think Matt and Tim would just force him to shill for some crappy book instead?

        3. Oh, Tim Cavenaugh… I see what you did there.

      3. Release the Timken!

      4. Water?

  2. We believe that if men have the talent to invent new machines that put men out of work, they have the talent to put those men back to work.
    John F. Kennedy

    1. BOOM!!! HEAD SHOT!!!!

      1. sick bastard, but did you know X marks the spot?
        http://alturl.com/7bhaq

    2. True, up to a point (but it will involve different machines and different work, and thus retraining).

      The stupid will continue to become less and less employable, though. Within 100 years, we’ll probably be capable of building an android that can do pretty much anything an unskilled dumbass can, but without giving a shit about its social status or money.

      After that, “below average” will have to be considered synonymous with disabled. If they do have work, it will mainly be as a kindness to them.

      1. I see your name is just not your handle.
        I see the opposite:

        In a hundred years, we will have medication, gene therapy, or even implants, which will feed us knowledge from birth.

        Education’s only mandate will be for socialization purposes, and your natural talent, or desires will be readable in a blood test at birth.

        Ergo, you will not attend school to become X, without full knowledge of the job you will love.

        1. Ergo, you will not attend school to become X, without full knowledge of the job you will love.

          Growing people in test tubes to fill jobs….

          Rather I hope you are being sarcastic.

          1. Ridiculous! Fucking is too much fun

            1. very true. I don’t see humans giving that up anywhere near the future.

              1. Fucking and making babies are not the same thing. The pill has seen to that.

          2. Growing people in test tubes to fill jobs….

            Rather I hope you are being sarcastic.

            Healthcare isn’t going to pay for itself…

        2. By the way i want to write a scifi along these lines about some high school students living in a post scarcity utopia…sounds pretty similar to what you are talking about.

          Some students are natural others are grown by the government to keep populations stable.

          The students have the ability to leave earth and essentially do whatever they want in the universe beyond earths gravity well.

          It is only a short story and focuses on the discussion among them to stay or to leave.

          Want to help me write it?

          1. I am on a roll with something but I will read your work and criticize if it sounds like it was produced by a robot. 😉

            Did you ever see the robot pick I posted?

        3. In a hundred years, we will have medication, gene therapy, or even implants, which will feed us knowledge from birth.

          I expect something slightly different:
          such services will exist, but they will be very expensive to buy legally, and they will be protected by patents, heavy cryptography, viruses, and a variety of scifi methods.

          There will exist the following methods to get such an implant:
          * the parents have enough money to buy,
          similar to a child today where parents can afford an expensive college education
          * a debt based approach, where a significant fraction of the child’s later income will serve that debt
          * get it illegally.

          1. Yes, that could easily happen, or there may be the government option for working people, and the private option for the wealthy.

            Rather, a reflection of our present private, and public education. Hmm, a third option: parochial suppliers?

            1. Hmm, a third option: parochial suppliers?

              Why…just use google or bing and get a better education then what public schools provide.

              1. For body enhancement parts! Just think of the control religion could amass if they owned you.

            2. government option for working people

              You’d have to invent a functional method of government first.

              1. More like you only get one if you work for the government.

                1. In the dystopia scenario, you’d still get the implant. But the government gets the remote controls.

                  1. Yes.. Remote controled, trying to ruin my fun?

    3. We believe that if men have the talent to invent new machines that put men out of work, they have the talent to put those men back to work.
      John F. Kennedy

      And of course JFK’s solution to put those men back to work was to lower taxes.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aEdXrfIMdiU

      1. every dollar released from taxation that is spent or invested will help create a new job, and new salary

        very apropos

      2. Well, JFK was a supply sider… now called Reganomics.

  3. “LA Times displays economic imbecility” is the new “dog bites man”.

  4. Please, somebody shove some Imodium in Cavanaugh’s ears.

    1. Please, stick you mom’s cock in your mouth and shut up.

      1. I wanna watch!

  5. But, seriously, Timmeh…it’s the end of times we’re witnessing. “Rome, 2011” – just a question of how quickly it all slips away.

    Cause heaven knows NO jobs are “saved or created” in the development, manufacture, distribution and maintenance of a gazillion ATM’s and kiosks across the fruited plain. Certainly not enough to offset the loss of the HURR DURR HURR tellers. Has O BEEN to a bank lately? Cause there are still tellers at both of mine.

    Anyhoo…

    Not with a bang, but with a whimper. Bread and circuses on the way down for everyone!

    1. A couple other notes on this point actually…

      1. Steve Horwitz informed me a week ago that there are actually more tellers today than before ATMs… I presume this is the case because…

      2. ATMs provide greater access to one’s money at more ti es of day, which pressures banks to compete to better offer services like that to potential customers… thus now tellers work on saturdays, and occasionally sundays.

      3. Having access to cash 24 hours a day actually paves the way for far more demand for other service as well. Consider that maybe 30 years ago, you would have been out on the town and someone says, hey, lets go grab a slice of pizza before we head home. You say, ehh… but Gino’s only takes cash and i am out… and tough luck, no business for Gino’s.

      Ubiquitous ATMs means that people can spend money and engage in trades even when banks aren’t open.

      Hell, ATMs were pivotal for me last saturday when purchasing a kayak from a guy on Craigslist after 5 pm. It was an incredible deal that I only benefited from because I knew I could access cash after hours.

      1. Or in short, as is the gist of my video Tim embedded above… Obama is a moron.

        1. Or a “maroon”? Can somebody “Racist!!!” me, or can I do it to myself?

          1. LACIST!

  6. You see it when you go to a bank and you use an ATM, you don’t go to a bank teller. Or you go to the airport and you’re using a kiosk instead of checking in at the gate. So all these things have created changes in the economy.

    Save the horsewhip and buggy industry!

    Yes to horse-apples! No to engine exhaust!

    Buggy drivers have families to feed!

  7. Yes, Stoopit there.

    But there actually is a problem for society there: while the machines can do many jobs more efficiently, and thus increases society’s combined wealth, on the long run that wrecks havoc with the way society distributes income.

    Old model: people work, get paid, then buy goods. Some people also have investment income. Not completely “fair”, but has been reasonably functional for quite some time.

    As the machines are getting better, traditional jobs are being replaced by machines, whereas on the other hand new job opportunities are created.

    Society as a whole can produce more goods, better goods, but the price for for unskilled human labor goes down.
    People who do not have valuable expert skills either cannot find a job, or can only find a job which does not create sufficient income to pay the basic costs of living.

    The socialist pipe dream solution is that the government provides income to those who cannot provide for themselves. That approach works only when the number of people who need support is small, which it isn’t.

    The capitalist pipe dream solution is that the market will solve it. No, the market mechanisms merely create prices for goods and services. They do not care if somebody becomes homeless, or dies.

    My own pipe dream solution from 20 years ago was better education, but it is evident by now that won’t happen either.

    1. Society as a whole can produce more goods, better goods, but the price for for unskilled human labor goes down.

      Then why has the wages and living standards of unskilled labor gone up? and not just in the US but in China as well?

      I will also point out that your claim of “such services will exist, but they will be very expensive to buy legally, and they will be protected by patents, heavy cryptography, viruses, and a variety of scifi methods.” also completely contradicts historical and present trends. Google search represents the state of the art of artificial intelligence and automation. One can hardly say that access to the benefits of google is gated.

      The simple fact is that catering to the richest insures you will live with the masses and catering to the masses will put you in riches.

      This was true before the first model T came off of Ford’s assembly line and there is exactly zero evidence that the trend is reversing.

      The free market distopia you describe only lives in your head not on the world in which we live.

      1. Wages for unskilled labor have gone up in China, but gone down in the US, and also in other western countries. Not in absolute terms, but compared to what income is necessary to pay rent, food, clothes, basic health care, plus the cost of getting to work.

        1. Have there not been serious attempts to patent our genes?

          1. Yes. I have no opinion on what the ultimate outcome of the attempts to patent genes will be.

          2. There are faults with patents…but they only last 20 years and the history of them is the same as the history of all modern technology. The benefits of the knowledge contained in them are not held away from masses.

            The only bad thing I have seen from patents is that one maga corporation sues another maga corporation, but the products stay on the shelves.

            Look at the cell phone market…companies suing each other every week over some stupid app or wireless protocol or bit of code, but cell phones have not become scarce because of it. In fact the evidence points in the opposite direction.

            What imagined magical unicorn dust found in DNA patents make the use of gene technology any different?

            1. There now exist companies with no actual products, but with a business model of buying up patents en mass, and then suing the companies which might infringe on those patents.

              That is not a zero sum game, and it leads to increased prices for those products.

              1. That is not a zero sum game, and it leads to increased prices for those products.

                as I said there are faults.

                Still those companies have an interest in seeing their patents licensed to the greatest number of clients. Again the products get on the shelves.

                Also without patents companies would wish to keep these technologies secret or would have no intensive to invent them at all…which in turn would lower supply and drive up the prices of those products.

                1. I don’t see any benefit for society when a group of sleazy lawyers who did not invent any technology extract hundreds of millions from the companies who actually put a technology on the shelves, just because the sleazy lawyers purchased some patents the USPTO granted, but never should have granted.

                  1. Yeah, it’s classic rent seeking enabled by government.

                    1. Yeah, it’s classic rent seeking enabled by government.

                      Bla bla bla the founding fathers did not seem to have a problem with it and even if it is there is no evidence that it is causing epic disparity. All i see is corporations stealing from other corporations.

                      There is exactly zero chance patents will cause the distopia that Rather is claiming.

                      Should there be some reform? Sure. But in the grand scheme of things there are far bigger and far more damaging statist fish to fry.

                    2. No doubt.

        2. Not in absolute terms, but compared to what income is necessary to pay rent, food, clothes, basic health care, plus the cost of getting to work.

          In absolute terms the cost of food, cloths rent and energy (ie cost of getting to work) have all dropped like a stone as well as gotten better with more variety.

          Healthcare in your list is the only one that has truth to it…and that is the partially the fault of government and partially the fault of people living longer and closer to the age that nature allows…keeping the old and infirm alive is expensive business…which i would not call a fault….more like a triumph.

          1. They have gotten better with more variety, but they have gotten way more expensive.

            Average cost of a gallon of gas 1970: 36 cents (and the average distance people have to drive to work increased, too).
            Average cost of a new home in 1970: $26,500.
            Median rent for a one bedroom apartment seems to have been a bit under $100/month in 1970, but I cannot find a decent source.

            Stones normally don’t drop like that.
            And, yes, food prices did not explode.

            1. Absolute terms = after inflation.

              1. Absolute terms = the raw numbers.

                Basic costs of living have increased more than average annual income in the low wage sector.

                1. Taking into account quality improvements, I doubt that. GDP PPP/capita in real terms has exploded since 1970. Homes, cars, TVs, phones, furniture, computers (!) are built much better than they were in the 70s. Everyone has a microwave, A/C, and more people have higher degrees at every level. Certain items like education have increased in cost partly because there are more opportunities for those who formerly had little ability to participate outside of rigidly defined sectors of the labor market.

                  Ownership of almost every single amenity has increased every year.

                  In the grand scheme of things, crime continues to fall, too.

                  Meanwhile, the real low-wage sector — which exists outside of America — has also seen enormous increases in its standard of living.

                  I just really don’t buy that it’s doom and gloom, that the robots will take over. Yes, I’ll bet that those at the very bottom in developed countries, completely unskilled laborers, have not seen meaningful wage increases. That’s largely due to globalization, but that in turn has overwhelmingly benefited people living in the poorest countries. But even though the distribution of gains has been uneven, almost everyone lives

                2. Raw numbers mean nothing. A dollar in 1970 is not the same as a dollar in 2011, because of inflation. You have to be ignorant of economics to not grasp that the government massively creating new fiat money out of thin air makes the existing fiat money worth less.

                  And are you really positing that the average standard of living has not massively increased since 1970? Were you even alive then, or is your memory severely impaired? Life is way easier for virtually everyone compared to back then.

                3. This is what happens when government spending increases.

            2. What was the average wage in 1970? What is the average wage today. Fucking inflation. How does it work? Congrats on one of the dumbest comments I’ve ever read on this site.

              1. The inflation of the last decade has outpaced the income growth for the bottom 30% of the workforce.

                The CPI seriously understates inflation, by design, which compounds over the years.

                For example, .36 per gallon in 1970 is equivalent to 2.10 today according to the CPI.

                http://data.bls.gov/cgi-bin/cp…..year2=2011

              2. Average annual income in the low wage sector. Not average wage.

                The people who get only jobs for minimum wage or slightly above. Possibly less than that in case of illegal immigrants, or employer shenanigans.

                And when you compute how much those people bring home nowadays, keep in mind that many of them can get only temporary jobs, or not as many paid hours as they would like to get.

                1. not as many paid hours as they would like to get.

                  Q the Stones.

                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XIX0ZDqDljA

                  oooooooh yeaheh

                2. Anyone can get a job that will provide for the basic necessities of life for themselves.

                  It’s when they decide to breed that they start to assume expenses that they can’t meet.

                  Rrabbit seems to assume that people who can’t be bothered to avail themselves of the myriad opportunities to get training and/or education to equip themselves for higher incomes in an increasingly technological world are entitled to get something given to them by people who don’t.

                  Hint: If you are unskilled you can make enough to survive provided you are reasonably frugal. Two can live as cheaply as one, as long as they don’t become three where the third is a squalling, utterly dependent consumer of resources.

                  So, avail yourselves of preventative measures to prevent that from occurring.

                  This is not world-saving Al Gore Malthusian type advice. Like any luxury, if you can afford children have as many as you can pay for. If you can’t, then get the tubes snipped.

                  1. Anyone can get a job that will provide for the basic necessities of life for themselves.

                    It was like that for quite some time.
                    But it no longer is. Not for unskilled workers.

                    And yes, I agree with your point on not having children when you cannot afford it.

                    1. > Anyone can get a job that will provide for the basic necessities of life for themselves.

                      It was like that for quite some time. But it no longer is. Not for unskilled workers.

                      Wow. This is profoundly untrue.

                    2. Amakudari, Rrabbit thinks that everyone is entitled to have all the luxuries that people who actually work hard enough to pay for them have.

                    3. I am eager to see any computations on how to cover the basic costs of living from the approximately $1200-$1400/month a non-married individual takes home from one full time job slightly above minimum wage, with no health care attached. And even that is assuming that the individual actual has one full time job for the whole year – if there are a couple of unemployed weeks in between, it is less than that.

                      Assume a 30 mile drive to work.

                    4. This is crazy. I’ve lived on around that amount my entire life — including in the Bay Area — and saved the rest.

                      Get roommates. Eschew cable. Get your food at a grocery store. Carpool. Get a job closer to where you live and stop commuting 30 miles.

                      There are plenty of places in the US where you can keep rent under $400 with roommates. Utilities should be around $70. If you buy only at a grocery store you can make it with $300-400 (I currently spend less).

                      Used cars are cheap, but public transportation is even cheaper, carpool is cheaper than that, and there is no reason to live 30 miles from your $8/hour job. Both ways that’s like giving up an hour of work for the luxury of giving up an extra hour and a half driving, and then giving up more hours so you can own a car and pay car insurance. That only makes sense if you want to live in suburbia and commute to a good job in the city. If I were in the Bay, I’d go with casual carpool (which I’ve done before and it works great), where a few people split the cost of gas. In most places I’d live closer to work. In any case, you have around $400-500 to accomplish this.

                      And if you need more, frankly, get a second job. I’m currently a student, but full-time I’ve always worked 60-100 hours a week. Heck, with the extra work you might even be able to get a catastrophic health insurance plan and ESPN.

                      No, you won’t live a life of plenty. But you’ll survive just fine.

                    5. Also, FWIW, I’m extremely familiar with this argument, as going into college I had to read Barbara Ehrenreich’s Nickel and Dimed for a mandatory freshman “debate,” where professors mostly just defended the book. Not only was it condescending, as at the time I was capably paying for living expenses through work at a grocery store, but she complained about living paycheck to paycheck… while owning a car, living in her own apartment, and buying copious amounts of beer, wine and cigarettes.

                      I honestly don’t understand it. It’s easier in America than it is in any developed country to live in a cheap apartment off cheap food.

                    6. “…but public transportation is even cheaper…”

                      For those who pay few or no taxes, perhaps. But public transportation is NOT cheap, and someone has to subsidize the “cheap” fare. It is not uncommon for the taxpayer to kick down two or three times the nominal fare in subsidy — sometimes much more, depending on transport mode — for every ride taken on public transit.

                      If you really want to get by cheaply, get a bicycle, and just don’t go places the bike or your own two feet won’t take you. It can be done, with a lot of effort and planning. I know people who have embraced that strategy, but I must admit that it is not for me…

                    7. For those who pay few or no taxes, perhaps.

                      Um, I’m aware of this. (Also, since those subsidies are all fixed costs, so the variable cost of riding doesn’t change; that is, you pay to ride whether you do or not.) The question, in any case, was how you survive on $1300 a month. The answer is that you have a variety of options and it’s really damn easy.

                      Also, in sane countries, like the one I’m in, the best “public” transit is privatized and profitable. It’s also far, far cheaper than owning a car. In the US it’s all about milking the constituency to pay for union votes.

                    8. I agree on the 400 per month for rent with room mates. Some places such as Atlanta are cheaper, some places such as the Bay area are more expensive.

                      I disagree on the suggestion to move closer to work, or use public transport. Public transport simply does not exist in many parts of the US, and moving closer to a job where you will get laid off a few months later is pointless.

                    9. Doesn’t matter. You should live closer to work than 30 miles. In Charlotte, for example, you could easily live close to downtown on $300/month with two roommates. Not only would public transit definitely be available, but so would carpool and you could probably bike many places. 30 miles out from Charlotte would put you past Gastonia, Fort Mill, Concord, etc., all areas that have their own job opportunities.

                      And, of course, with sufficient experience in many of these jobs you could be considered for more managerial positions, so there’s nothing about minimum wage work that necessarily stays minimum wage — hence why virtually no one actually makes minimum wage, and those that do are mostly in tipping industries like hospitality (which includes food services) or are very young.

                      Also, while many low-wage jobs experience high turnover — in my experience mostly from people leaving rather than being fired — there’s always someone hiring nearby.

                      The point is, you can live on $1200 a month and still have some left over to save. Really, most of my friends from high school are doing wage work, and while they aren’t living high they can certainly make ends meet.

                  2. Unfortunately, it is the unskilled and uneducated who be havin the chilluns. Educated people like to wait, earn money, plan for a child until it’s almost too late, and time for fertility treatments.

                  3. “…the third is a squalling, utterly dependent consumer of resources…”

                    For a while. But fairly soon, and for most of the rest of his or her lifetime, “the third” is also at least potentially a producer — of labor, of ideas, of techniques. Given access to common productivity tools, people tend to produce much more than necessary to sustain their own lives, making resources available for subsidizing the care of the very young and the very old.

                    Now, you might say, “yes, if they have productivity tools, each human can be productive enough to support himself and herself and many more, but without such tools, not so much.” And yet, where do productivity tools come from? From the imagination and talent of OTHER HUMANS. By using the power of mind, each generation creates enhanced or novel productivity tools that amplify the productive power of humans, increasing their abilities to provide for themselves and others.

                    So far, machines haven’t been able to improve themselves or build novel machines. Humans had to invent or improve them. Maybe someday, when machines are completely responsible for themselves and their own evolution, humans will be superfluous and human breeding unnecessary. But for all of human existence up to now, and for some time to come, new humans are no luxuries, they are fundamental to our economic and social progress.

    2. As the machines are getting better, traditional jobs are being replaced by machines, whereas on the other hand new job opportunities are created.

      Also, worth pointing out that machines and modernized agriculture replaced around 90% of farm jobs. Entire sectors like technology could not possibly have existed without that.

    3. Don’t have much time to write this morning, but a few more things to think about in your mental model of how a thriving economy, characterized by high efficiency and low cost-of-living, would work:

      * People wouldn’t have to work all the time. They could afford to drop out to do non-earning activities more often and for longer periods of time. They could also reduce hours worked. Or retire earlier.
      * One working family member would be able to support a whole bunch of relatives.
      * A wealthy society tends to create jobs in more and more non-essential skill areas, such as color therapist, outdoor adventure guide, feng shui expert,… You can make your living providing fun, or services, or even bullshit for other people.

  8. You see it when you go to a bank and you use an ATM, you don’t go to a bank teller.

    I suspect it has never occurred to our Maximum Leader that those machines would have been tossed on the junkpile some time ago if people did not find them to be a superior alternative to waiting for the fucking bank to open.

    What a maroon.

    1. I don’t see anything in the Obama quote in which he says that the machines aren’t a “superior alternative.” He even specifically mentions that they are more efficient than older methods. Nowhere does he say that businesses shouldn’t have adopted ATMs, etc. The entire quotation, in fact, accepts that businesses will try to automate services, and instead focuses on the question of government assisting with job training programs. You can legitimately argue those things are a waste of money, but that’s different than announcing Obama must be stupid because you lack basic reading comprehension skills.

      1. Reading comprehension skills?

        How about, “And what we have to do now, and that’s what this job council is all about, is identifying where the jobs of the future are going to be.”

        Thus, once again, text, without context, is pretext. Put another way, in order to maximize one’s reading comprehension skills, one would be well advised to know a litte something about the subject one is reading.

        Applying the foregoing principle here, one takes note that Obama is a marxist who has never created a job or invented anything or provided any service upon a consensual, voluntary basis. One also notes that Obama is spectacularly ignorant of economics and markets. Further, one takes note that Obama has consistently supported the income tax, the progressive income tax, collective bargaining, the administrative state, redistribution of income and property from those who produce it to those who do not, pouring more and more money into government education, affirmative action, and the preservation of make work jobs.

        Thus, in order to more thoroughly and accurately construe that which Obama said about the ATMs and kiosks, one must take into accoutn that which one knows about the mulatto marxist. He is a typical race baiting luddite. He supports make work jobs. One who subscribes to such non-sense does believe that ATMs and airport kiosks are negatives and bad for humanity.

        Moreover, if one listens to the TONE of the Kenyann’s words, one has all doubt removed about just what he meant.

        1. mulatto marxist.

          he is a typical race baiting

          TONE of the Kenyann’s words

          I’m as racist as the next ambiguously white dude in denial, but, damn, man. Was any of that helpful to the argument, or, most likely does it undermine something that was otherwise fairly sound as a whole? Even in purely cynical political terms, given the all encompassing racist foundations of the progressive school of thought, why succeed to them the high ground? The TONE makes it sound like Obama’s African genetic strain is as much of a problem as is his policies. Sheesh. Write pretty much the same post over again describing Biden, than put in his ethnic qualifiers as adjectives — Moreover, if one listens to the TONE of the Dutch-Norwegian’s words. Now read it back. Pretty weird, huh?

          1. Okay, that was not an adjective. Sue me!

          2. Liberty mike likes to use ethnic/racial adjectives that are irrelevant to the argument he is making in a bid to inflame people. Then when one of the readers predictably accuses him of being racist, he says that he is merely using the words descriptively and that is interlocutor must be racist to assign them meaning.

            Frankly, it’s a tiresome shtick that’s starting to look like a galloping case of projection.

            1. Tiresome shtick yes. Workable and effective maybe.

    2. if people did not find them to be a superior alternative to waiting for the fucking bank to open.

      The fucking bank? I’d like to make a deposit.

      1. Just make sure they have good security:)

        http://www2.nbc4i.com/news/201…..ar-582484/

  9. “You don have to tote dat grip boss, I do it cheap”

  10. “Why not give them spoons?”

  11. Timmay! could write a rule requiring all banks to hand out lollipops. Think of the jobs that would create, not to mention the HFCS mandate. ADM would like it.

  12. that’s different than announcing Obama must be stupid because you lack basic reading comprehension skills.

    Please Note:

    You may actually be correct, but I have better things to do than listen to that nitwit and the breathless knob-gobblers who interview him.

    That quote definitely reads as if he is bemoaning the loss of “that nice bank lady” who used to give him a lollipop when he went to the bank with his sweet old granny.

    1. You mean that “typical white person” actually took her brown skinned young marxist to the bank?

      1. LEt’s try an experiment with Libertymikes contribution to the discussion. Since he is merely using race as a descriptive thing let’s replace it with other descriptive adjectives:

        You mean that “typical white bifurcated bipedal person” actually took her brown skinnedcarbon-based hominid young marxist to the bank?

        Now, one would wonder why post a comment about a mother taking her son to the bank. After all I think it would only be remarkable if a parent had never taken a child to a bank.

        Thus, we are left with the question as to why does Obama’s skin color matter so much to you Libertymike, that you never miss the opportunity to point it out. Frankly, I notice that you don’t comment ever about people’s hair color, pant size, eye color, or academic pedigree. To my mind these are as relevant as ethnicity and skin color, yet you leave them out. Why? What about ethnicity is so much more remarkable than his height?

    2. Growing up, I always planned to have 57-states’ worth of revenue when I got to be president. We’re seven states short — clearly the reason we’re broke!

  13. Suki Held Hostage, Day 2

    Breaking developments in the Suki hostage crisis. Earlier this week, Johnny Longtorso broke into John’s basement apartment and took Suki hostage, demanding that his amazon review for Gillespie’s and Welch’s book be found useful by more people than any other.

    Longtorso and Suki have been spotted on an in-store security camera, stealing every copy of The Complete Golden Girls on DVD from a Barnes & Noble in Tacoma while STEVE “HERCULE TRIATHALON” SMITH had his way with the store manager and a lifesize cardboard cutout of Bobby Flay. A visibly deflated Suki has evidently fallen victim to Stokholm Syndrome and has joined with her captors. As you can see from this video statement, she has adopted Longtorso’s political theory that [THE EMPIRE] only came about because 80s sitcoms turned all our manly men either gay or totally into vaguely Asian looking blow up dolls.

    We will keep you informed of breaking developments.

    1. I followed thru on my note to self from the other day and, so far, have said JLT’s review was not helpful twice.

      Ending golden girls links one abuse of the internet at a time.

      1. This just in, robc is kind of a dick.

        🙂

        1. I didnt realize this was any kind of newsflash. And only “kind of”?

          Dont forget, months back I called for JLT to be banned permanently for those links.

          1. No shit, I’ve always said robc is a serious dick. Really, I’ve always said it, just ask my friends.

            Wait, I don’t have any friends. Everyone thinks I’m a dick too.

  14. The last time we spoke you said my wife would be in the morgue if I didn’t pay. Well, I didn’t pay and just today I was at the morgue and she wasn’t there. You lied to me!

    1. Well, you can check again today, PB. KEEP HOPE ALIVE!

  15. Where’s the article about airport luggage carts replacing porters?

    1. Snap!

      But seriously, I’m wondering when we’re going to get the treatise on how one single airplane displaced dozens of carriage drivers. Maybe more.

      And devastated the buggy whip industry.

  16. Where’s the article about airport luggage carts replacing porters?

    High speed rail is just a way to bring back porters. They’ll have to have credentials from an institute of higher learning, and licenses, but society will be richer for it.

  17. Those dudes seem to know exactly what the deal is all the time.

    http://www.total-web-privacy.tk

  18. If you haven’t read Schumpeter then you really shouldn’t comment on this article.

  19. I seem to remember an article I read a while back, it was about a study which showed that government job retraining programs are uniformly useless and wastes of money. I can’t remember where the article was, though. Anyone know what I am talking about?

    1. The law of comparative advantage?

    2. No need for an article. Just look at real life, every day. It’s there for all to see!

  20. a study which showed that government job retraining programs are uniformly useless and wastes of money. I can’t remember where the article was, though.

    Have you looked down the Memory Hole?

  21. Longtorso and Suki have been spotted on an in-store security camera, stealing every copy of The Complete Golden Girls on DVD from a Barnes & Noble in Tacoma

    The other day I was at a trivia night and the answer to one of the questions was The Golden Girls (we only got it because our waitress cheated and told us). I couldn’t help but think of Longtorso.

    Also the sports question on the NFL was which current quarterback holds the record for most touchdown passes in a season. This was in a Boston bar. I was pissed.

  22. But surely japery like this is over the top:

    First off Mary Kathrine Ham is hot and second I demand justice for your breaking of Reason’s embargo on The Daily Caller.

    1. She IS hot. I swooned when she replyed to one of my Tweets.

      1. MKH definately hot

  23. I love these “in the old days” nostalgia pieces.

    Hey, never mind those luggage cart concessions (they’re owned by monocle and spat-wearing plutocrats anyways) where are all the respectful negro porters waiting to carry my bags for a modest tip? Think what the advent of luggage carts meant to the livelihoods of those worthies.

    This shit is just like the Bernie Sanders video from a few days ago where he lamented that getting Social Security solvent would mean that geezers might have to work longer and if geezers keep working there won’t be no jeeerrrbs for teh yung’ns. That shit might have played to an audience in 1936 but seriously, now?

  24. there shall be no debate after watching this guys trust me and watch
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-dVmwoR24rc

  25. Clearly Google is in on the attack on the economy, since the ad at the head of the article is for wheeled Samsonite luggage.

  26. Not that I, myself, have ever done it but don’t get me started on self-serve filling-station pumps.

    1. Go West Jaunty Young Barack — specifically, to Oregon.

  27. Great article, I think you covered everything there.

  28. Damn those infernal job killing wheels!

  29. I paid $32.67 for a XBOX 360 and my mom got a 17 inch Toshiba laptop for $94.83 being delivered to our house tomorrow by fed3x. I will never again pay expensive r3tailprices at stores.I even sold a 46 inch HDTV to my boss for $650 and it only cost me $52.78 to get. Here is the website we using to get all this stuff, buzzsave. c0m………

  30. Thats kinda crazy when you think about it.

    http://www.anon-web-toolz.tk

  31. Hey, never mind those luggage cart concessions (they’re owned by monocle and spat-wearing plutocrats anyways) where are all the respectful negro porters waiting to carry my bags for a modest tip? Think what the advent of luggage carts meant to the livelihoods of those worthies.

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