History

What a 40-Year-Old-Cover of People Magazine Says About Progress

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A couple of days ago at The Daily Beast I argued that the July 1, 1974 cover of People magazine (above) provided a great benchmark to discuss the question of social, technological, and economic progress over the past four decades.

Telly Savalas—born in the early 1920s, a World War II vet, and beloved as the eponymous star of TV's Kojak—was an alternative type of cultural icon in his day. And things have only gotten weirder and more wonderful and totally better since then.

We're in The Great Stagnation, don't you know, and technological and economic momentum has conked out like the engine on a 1977 Chevy Vega. What we really "need is more Apollo-like projects" but we're too chicken-shit and beat-down to think BIG anymore. Or maybe we just need one of those bogus "alien invasions" that Paul Krugman is always flapping his gums about.

The middle class can't afford nothing no more, Amazon's warehouse workers are "today's coal miners," and even bomb-crazy and jihad-suffering Middle Easternersare more optimistic about the future than Americans and Europeans. The Experts (with a capital E!) have spoken: We've reached The End of Progress.

So back to Savalas, and bear with me here. Cue up Telly's incomparable semi-parlando rendering of If. Get lost in the Aegean-deep pools of Telly's eyes and marvel at his gold-chain-and-bracelet set. As you contemplate a naked celebrity torso apparently unfamiliar with any form of exercise, let's count the ways in which the world has not just gotten a little bit better but a whole fucking lot better since Kojak was on the case.

As we contemplate the midterm elections (oy) and the choices spread before like a patient etherized upon a table, read the whole thing.

And also take a look at Reason's special landing page about the past, present, and glorious future of the medium formerly known as television.

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  1. A couple of days ago at The Daily Beast I argued that the July 1, 1974 cover of People magazine (above) provided a great benchmark to discuss the question of social, technological, and economic progress over the past four decades.

    That’s a very long winded way of saying you were drunk.

    1. Hey, there’s nothing wrong about being a drunk with a writing problem. Many of our greatest drunks suffered from the same weakness.

      1. Hunter Thomas… Charles Bukowski…

  2. Get lost in the Aegean-deep pools of Telly’s eyes

    Ummmm, no thanks.

    I asked this once before and I’ll ask it again: has Nick ever been seen out in public in the company of a lady-friend?

    1. Are you sarcasm impaired?

    2. Nick doesn’t need a lady, he has The Jacket.

      1. It’s better than a beard!11!

  3. The problem with measuring progress by looking at all the progress made since Kojak was king is that we don’t necessarily have as much freedom as people had when Telly Savalas ruled the airwaves–which is what made all that progress possible.

    How hard or expensive was it to start and run a new business in California, in July of 1974? Let’s compare that to how hard it is to start and run a new business in California now. How much regulation was there in the job place?

    Here’s a study–commissioned by the California State Legislature–from 2009:

    “The total cost of regulation to the State of California is $492.994 billion which is almost five times the State’s general fund budget, and almost a third of the State’s gross product.”

    http://blog.sfgate.com/bottoml…..-counting/

    That doesn’t include the cost of federal regulation! That doesn’t include the impact of ObamaCare.

    How does that compare to starting a business in 1974?

    So, the problem with using progress since 1974 as a guide to how much progress we’re likely to make in the future is that–as every mutual prospectus will tell you–past performance is no indication of future results.

    We had a much better climate for starting and running businesses between 1974 and now than we have now…going forward. Why should we expect the same results with our feet tied together and our hands tied behind our backs?

    1. I got a first row seat to some of that regulatin’. I was born in SF in 1974 and my dad started a construction business shortly thereafter with my mom managing all the finances. They did well, even through the Carter years until they hit the wall of massive, unbelievable gubmint regulations.

      Really, it was a combo of a few neighbors (one a lawyer) that lived a block away from a proposed development of three single family homes. They quickly figured out how to gum up the wheels of the notorious SF planning hell and they successfully fought for ten years anything getting built. My dad knew it would take a year or two, but ten pretty much killed them financially. At one point we were on 30 day foreclosure for our house, one he built himself. They finally managed to sell off the other two lots to one other lucky ass Irishman who quickly built two houses. They ended up losing over a million, plus ten years of massive stress.

      Dad’s advice: Don’t go into developing anything here unless you are a millionaire and have enough connections at City Hall.

      1. …”and have enough connections at City Hall.”

        I’d say this is the more important of the two.
        Your payroll needs to include a termed-out supervisor with a decent rolodex. And you need enough tissues to hide the smell.

        1. Sangiacamo had the connections and built a number of houses up the hill from it a couple years earlier. That is what helped galvanize the neighbors cause they could not do shit about that. At one point we heard about the price Slick Willie would need. Out of the budget.

          On a happy note, the Bay Guardian wrote two small pieces about my dad’s evil development. Could not wipe the smile off my face all week when they folded.

          1. “On a happy note, the Bay Guardian wrote two small pieces about my dad’s evil development. Could not wipe the smile off my face all week when they folded.”

            That rag has become so marginalized, I missed that it’d failed.
            And that after stealing bucu bucks from the Weekly and supposedly getting sold to The Examiner.
            Brugmann must have had his hand deep in the till.

        2. I’d say this is the more important of the two.

          Yeah, but it’s usually money, that buys the connections at City Hall.

      2. “Dad’s advice: Don’t go into developing anything here unless you are a millionaire and have enough connections at City Hall.”

        It’s imperative, when you develop in California, that you do a lot of research on the entity you’ll be processing plans though.

        You increase the value of land, for instance, in Riverside County if you’re incorporated into one of the cities because that way you don’t have to process plans through the county. Different cities really are different in how they process plans–even though they’re all using the CEQA process (implemented in the early ’70s), which is what I think you’re talking about.

        Actually, Jerry Brown sued, I think it was, San Bernardino County (effectively every count in the state) back when he was the Attorney General, forcing them to consider the projects impact on global warming during the CEQA process.

        Which means, yeah, any member of the community can walk into a planning or city council meeting and object to your project on the grounds that it increases the problem of global warming.

        1. We once had an archaeologist come in an object to our project because it contained old railroad tracks that were built by Chinese rail workers in the 19th Century, and they might have left some archaeologically interesting items from their pockets while they were working. So we had to hire an archaeologist to go through every bucket of dirt while we were recompacting, to see if we dug up anything interesting.

          We routinely have to hire representatives from the local tribes to sift through our recompacting dirt for Native American resources, as well.

          You want to hire consultants that have already worked with all these groups beforehand–in that local jurisdiction. You want to hire architects and civil engineers who’ve worked in that jurisdiction regularly, too. Otherwise, you’re going to end up gummed up in the process–and you may never even know why.

          There’s always one guy that grew up in the area that knows everybody in town and will act as a fixer, too. You need to find out who that guy is and hire him as a consultant, too. If you’re not willing or ready to do all of that, then don’t do the project.

    2. The problem with measuring progress by looking at all the progress made since Kojak was king is that we don’t necessarily have as much freedom as people had when Telly Savalas ruled the airwaves–which is what made all that progress possible.

      Depends what you mean by freedom. Yes, regulation is WAY out of control. I like this example. Federal regulation costs business $1.8T a year. And the government is out of fucking control.

      However, there have been some significant gains in liberty (mostly social). Gun laws are slowly being dismantled, gay people don’t need to live in the closet anymore, you can buy alcohol in supermarkets in PA, the drug war is finally coming to an end, obscenity laws are rightly being struck down, speed limits have increased…

      Here is what I think is happening. It is always darkest just before the dawn. What causes revolutions? You don’t have revolutions when everything is hunky dory. You have big changes in society when people are fed up and have had enough of something. In that respect, the government being completely out of control is good for liberty. They are making libertarians.

      Call me an optimist.

      The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers.

      1. I’m beginning to think this is one of those prog revisions to history. Gay people didn’t have to live in the closet in the 70’s and 80’s and many didn’t. They would have us believe that anytime someone found out they were gay they were beaten down. Simply untrue.

        1. Gay people didn’t have to live in the closet in the 70’s and 80’s…

          Perhaps in SF. NOT in small town middle America.

          Regardless, the liberty they enjoy now has increased greatly.

          1. I’d argue that “small town middle America” hasn’t changed dramatically since the 80’s. I mean, I get what you’re saying, and I think I somewhat agree–though I’d say the change really hit in the 90’s–but I wouldn’t oversell the difference between east Texas circa 1975 and east Texas 2014, say.

          2. I loved in small town middle America and I just don’t see it. There was a couple who was gay-married as common knowledge. It was interesting trivia like “hey, two gay guys live in that house.” But that’s it. I’d be interested to see if somebody ran the numbers on gays getting attacked vs anyone else what the results were.

            Because my experience is that the a lot of people are being passed down some revisionist history on this topic as part of some perceived civil rights struggle.

            1. No way in hell would anyone in my HS ever admit they were gay. They’d have been harassed unmercifully and likely physically abused.

        2. It wasn’t just physical abuse people were worried about.

          You could be ostracized. Nowadays, there isn’t much stigma attached to anything, but back then, if you weren’t fired for being gay, your chances of being promoted probably disappeared.

          Before the ’70s, a lot of guys wouldn’t work for a woman–much less a gay person. There were just very few people who lived out in the open.

          That mostly broke down because of people like David Bowie and Boy George, and it broke down after AIDS in the ’80s.

          There was nothing new that didn’t exist before the ’70s, but public acceptance of it was new.

          1. What does public acceptance have to do with anything? If you put public acceptance as a priority for one idea over another you’ve left the libertarian camp and gone into the “this is the preferred method for living your life” camp.

            1. Isn’t allowing people to live as they choose “the preferred method for living your life” provided they aren’t harming anyone?

            2. “What does public acceptance have to do with anything? If you put public acceptance as a priority for one idea over another you’ve left the libertarian camp and gone into the “this is the preferred method for living your life” camp.”

              We are never going to get a more libertarian world until we get more public acceptance of libertarian ideas.

              That’s the whole battle.

              If you think substantive change comes by seizing the reigns of power and forcing our ideas on everybody by way of the coercive power of government, you’ve left the libertarian camp and joined the authoritarians.

              Much to his disciples’ chagrin, Jesus never sought political power. …but in the end, you couldn’t be a Roman emperor unless you proclaimed your Christianity. Hell, you probably still can’t be the President of the United States unless you proclaim your Christianity!

              That’s the way TO take political power away from the statists and make them libertarian. We don’t have to run libertarians for office, seize the reigns of power, and use the coercive power of government to shove libertarianism down everybody’s throats.

              We just make the electorate more libertarian–one person at a time–and in the end, it won’t matter who the politicians are. As soon as we get a critical mass of libertarians among the electorate, the politicians will all tow the libertarian line.

              1. Pot wasn’t legalized in Washington and Colorado because that’s what the politicians wanted. It was legalized because the people in those states demanded it–and the politicians gave the people what they wanted.

                Politicians will probably never vote to free people who don’t want to be free; but encourage enough people to want their freedom, and the politicians who stand in their way will probably end up on the ash heap of history.

                That’s the way the world works. Libertarianism through statism is a lie.

      2. Ken’s contention that the business climate in 1974 was better than today is contentious. High inflation, wage and price controls, and plenty of federal-level regulation, and higher taxes, AND trade was not as free.

        1. I didn’t mean to just be talking about ’74 – ’79. Inflation and price controls weren’t always a problem over the last 40 years.

          I’m talking about ’74 to right up to about 2012, which is what I think Gillespie was referring to, too.

          There’s a good argument to make that regulation can be cyclical, too, but as I look at the regulatory environment we’re in today, especially in states like California, I have a hard time imagining that the next forty years are going to be better than the last forty from a regulatory standpoint.

          I’m having a hard time imagining a Fed that’s willing to do what Volcker did, a Congress that’s willing to do what Newt did, or the rest of the developed world signing off on free trade agreements that bring the developing world online either.

      3. “Gun laws are slowly being dismantled”

        Let me know when wholesale repeal of the Gun Control Act of 1968 comes onto the radar screen of possibility. Anything short of that is bull.

        “The drug war is finally coming to an end”

        So, because two states have legalized marijuana that means I can buy pharmaceutical grade cocaine, heroin, and LSD over the counter at Wal-Mart now…

        Sure, they’e thrown us a few crumbs. You can legally drive 70 now (your license plate being scanned the whole way tracking your every movement), and buy beer at supermarkets in PA (if you’re 21 and have REAL ID compliant photo ID to prove it.)

  4. Where do we start? The EPA is closing coal power generating plants costing us jobs here and the ones moving abroad, cheap power, and costly, worthless CO2 capture.

    Greens want to shut down anything to do with oil, natural gas and say we can do fine with “renewable”, and extremely expensive, electricity alone (ask anyone in Germany how expensive).

    Climate scientists say we’re going to burn up from global warming if we don’t stop producing CO2, even though there are 37 erupting volcanoes at this time, not counting the ones that are erupting under the oceans.

    Any wonder the middle class is depressed?

    1. Because great television programs like Kojak are no longer made?

      1. You read all that?

        1. It’s a common thing, around here, that…there’s a certain breed of relatively new libertarian…

          Typically, they think libertarianism is only about Republican politics and economics, somehow. And they’re really confused about culture stuff.

          Back when the site first started, actually, for the 2004 election cycle, as I recall, Gillespie separated all of the election and convention coverage off into its own site–so the important culture stuff wouldn’t get tainted by political coverage.

          Anyway, yeah, it’s always ridiculous to talk about who is and who isn’t a real libertarian, but people who think that positive libertarian change comes by way of elections and politicians are pretty far down on my personal list of authentic libertarians.

          If we want to live in a more libertarian world, the culture will have to change first. And the politicians will be the last ones to get on board. And what’s going on in the culture is more interesting anyway–certainly than talking about politicians and the stupid things they say and do.

          There are a ton of people who come here and just absolutely don’t understand that. They think Gillespie is off topic! I guess we all gotta start somewhere.

          1. If this is being written in response to my comment then I think you (and possibly Rai) have misread my intentions. I’m not trying to suggest culture is unimportant or that Nick Gillespie doesn’t have some important points to make.

          2. Absolutely, we need a cultural change. My voting or not voting next week is deciding whether nor not to piss in the ocean. On the state level I get to decide things like whether or not we drug test doctors. On the city level I get to decide things like throwing a massive tax on soda and people. who sell real estate.

            We need to inoculate the minds of our youth to fight against the liberty haters of all stripes.

            1. Right, but he’s not talking about a cultural change to more leaving people the fuck alone, because clearly we’ve gone in the wrong direction by that standard. He’s saying a cultural change to forcing people to not just tolerate but like people and their social behaviors, which is the only measure of “freedom” that’s increased. If freedom is defined as liking people. But it’s not, so that brand of freedom is complete bullshit. That’s simply progressivism- improving society through government.

              1. Okay, skip Kojak…

                Farrah Fawcett was widely considered the hottest chick of the ’70s.

                http://img2.timeinc.net/instyl…..tt-400.jpg

                Look how flabby she is.

                I see hotter chicks than Farrah Fawcett every day now–because they work out and want to show it off.

                What does that have to do with government?

                When my dad was dating, women were looking for someone to support them–so they wouldn’t starve. The women I meet now are perfectly capable of taking care of themselves.

                What does that improvement have to do with government?

                1. F…Fl….Flabby?

                  Flabby? For real?

                  Damn. I actually felt like you were one of the most reasonable, respectable commenters on here, but if you think Farrah Fawcett is flabby in that picture (where I’m guessing she weighs about 94 pounds) you’re obviously kookoo bananas.

                  1. Compared to the girls I see on the beach all the time?

                    Yeah, she’s flabby.

                    She may be skinny, but she’s also flabby.

                  2. wwhorton|11.1.14 @ 1:37PM|#
                    “Damn. I actually felt like you were one of the most reasonable, respectable commenters on here,”…

                    Get Ken going on Arab street cred once…

                    1. It matters!

                    2. Ken Shultz|11.1.14 @ 8:26PM|#
                      “It matters!”

                      Arab street cred?
                      Yeah, Ken, you did yourself proud there!
                      Why, I saw at least three suicide bombers saying ‘we love the USA!’ just before they pulled the pin!
                      Or maybe not three…

                    3. Yeah, well, our support for those vicious dictators is something that happened over a period of decades. It created the situation we’re in now over a period of decades.

                      Everything wasn’t going to change overnight–especially since we’re still coordinating with vicious dictators in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere.

                      And we should continue to extricate ourselves from such relationships whenever good opportunities to do so present themselves. (Dropping oil prices and the shale revolution here in North America are making that easier, too)

                      If you haven’t noticed, right now, we seem to be fighting Assad’s war for him in Syria. …which is a step in the wrong direction and an excellent reason to oppose what Obama is doing in Syria.

                    4. Take a look at this article, and read further down from this quote about our long history of coordination and cooperation with the Assad regime–going back to long before the current Assad assumed power:

                      The prospect of America reversing its policy from threatening to bomb the regime in August 2013 to actually bombing the regime’s enemies this year gave the regime hope. It saw that not only would it survive, but that it would become, however covertly, a partner of the nations that had worked most assiduously to remove it. Although I left Syria just before the United States bombed ISIS-held towns, with the predictable civilian casualties and targets that turned out to be grain silos and private houses, Syrian officials were anticipating American involvement with satisfaction.

                      Officials present at his meeting with Dr. Shaaban recounted a conversation in which Feltman told her, “We know President Assad is going to stay, but you know what President Obama said. So, how can we solve the problem?” Having said for three years that Assad must go, Obama has yet to explain why Assad can, for the time being, stay. This change would not be unusual for an American president, since the recurring theme in US?Syria relations throughout the Assad era has been one of hostility followed by cooperation?that is, cooperation when both sides needed it.”

                      http://www.nybooks.com/article…..?insrc=whc

                    5. The idea that oppression breeds revolt really shouldn’t be controversial. The idea that our support for the dictators who are oppressing them is significantly to blame for them targeting us in the past shouldn’t be controversial either.

                      Continuing to cooperate with their oppressors until they no longer revolt is a losing strategy. If we want them to stop targeting us because we’re cooperating with their oppressors, we should stop cooperating with their oppressors. …and any time the United States’ best interests are the same as those of the oppressed, we should continue to pursue whatever our own best interests are anyway.

                      None of that should be controversial.

                    6. Get Ken going on Arab street cred once…

                      Even better, get him going on slavery v. colonialism.

                      Ken is easily the most consistently moronic and verbose person posting here who isn’t actually a troll.

                2. I see hotter chicks than Farrah Fawcett every day now–because they work out and want to show it off.

                  Jesus Ken, you really are fucking dumb.

                  Because you think Fawcett was flabby, there are hotter girls now? Fucking seriously?

                  That is just some weapons-grade derp right there.

          3. Personally, I think you’re full of shit and all this culture libertarianism is just an excuse to have the government beat the correct opinions into people. Libertarianism works precisely because we don’t agree on what cultural decisions are “correct” and decide to leave each other alone. I see no purpose for correct social norms play any part of reason. If anything they are the frivolous bullshit, and the economics is what defines libertarianism.

            1. Cultural libertarianism, to me at least, means having more people agree that bakers don’t have to bake a cake for a gay wedding if they do not want to.

              1. It would mean peoples’ default would be “no, the government should stay the hell out of that.”

            2. Libertarianism works precisely because we don’t agree on what cultural decisions are “correct” and decide to leave each other alone. I see no purpose for correct social norms play any part of reason. If anything they are the frivolous bullshit, and the economics is what defines libertarianism.

              I believe they are talking about a “culture” of liberty.

              1. Economics is also an issue of culture. It would be wonderful if a significant part of society took a Hayekian look at economic issues. I’d be ecstatic if more and more people saw and called out “the socialists of all parties”.

            3. “Personally, I think you’re full of shit and all this culture libertarianism is just an excuse to have the government beat the correct opinions into people.”

              There’s a book every libertarian should know about. The basic idea behind it is more important than anything Rand, Rothbard, Heinlein, von Mises, or Hayek ever wrote.

              It’s called “The Theory of Moral Sentiments”. I think it’s more important than “Wealth of Nations”, too.

              “A central thread running through his work is an unusually strong commitment to the soundness of the ordinary human being’s judgments, and a concern to fend off attempts, by philosophers and policy-makers, to replace those judgments with the supposedly better “systems” invented by intellectuals.”

              You could say it’s about why our culture shouldn’t be centrally planned. When Gillespie notices that our culture improves–apart from the intervention of government–he’s doing the exact opposite of what you seem to think he’s doing.

              1. Gay people don’t have rights in this country because politicians started to recognize and respect their rights; politicians started to recognize and respect gay people’s rights because our culture changed for the better.

                We don’t have gun rights becasue our politicians recognize and support them; politicians began to really support our gun rights because the culture changed in such a way that people started demanding that our rights were respected.

                If you imagine that our rights originate from government, you’re putting the cart before the horse. You’re staring into a horse’s ass to try and count its teeth. The fact is that our culture is what drives change and respect for our rights–and politicians are the very last people to get on board the train.

                When our politicians stop squandering our paychecks on government largess, start respecting our right to choose our own intoxicants, etc., etc., that will only be becasue of changes in the culture. I don’t know why we spend so much time on this site talking about politicians. They’re not exactly a red herring, but they’re nowhere near as important as people think. Politicians are a weather vane–they’re not the weather.

                That’s why what we say to other people is more important than how we vote. That’s why I give money to Reason and not the LP.

              2. This time with the link!

                http://plato.stanford.edu/entr…..political/

                The invisible hand was first applied to how our culture evolves. …even though “Theory of Moral Sentiments” predated Darwin by a long shot.

                See, there’s this thing called a “social adaptation”. Our culture works like a free market. Government interference in the culture market causes all sorts of problems. This is where all the important stuff happens.

                …not in the White House or Congress. When governments try to stand in the way of changes in the culture, they end up like Louis XVI or Ceausescu. They change like China did, or they end up like the Soviet Union.

          4. If we should be focused on changing the culture than Gillespie should really be talking about, I don’t know, the blatant libertarian arguments in Firefly with its massive modern cult following rather than forty year old detective shows that are more relevant to the civil rights period than today.

            1. He writes about Firefly, too.

              Good arguments come from wherever you find them. And everybody’s hit and miss.

              …except for me. I’m always right on the money every time.

              1. Link? Because my google searches are only turning up people complaining about him not listing Firefly on the Libertarian shows list.

                1. I didn’t realize you were being so literal.

                  You’re not suggesting his writing about cultural trends is unlibertarian because he left Firefly off a best of list, are you?

                  I’m more of a Farscape/Lexx guy myself.

                  1. My mistake, I thought you mean that he literally wrote something on Firefly that I didn’t see.

                    I’m more just pointing out that Gillespie is a old guy who might get a little more appeal for his cultural libertarian concepts if he talked about something more recent and relevant. Hell, he might even get MILLENIALS interested.

                    1. Nah, that’s what I actually wrote!

                      I just meant that he writes about contemporary stuff like “Firefly”, too. Hell, I remember when he used to write about Madonna–back when that was more contemporary.

                      Madonna is a hero because she “helped broaden the palette of acceptable cultural identities and destroy whatever vestiges of repressive mainstream sensibilities still remained.”

                      http://triblive.com/x/pittsbur…..z3Hrn5ulHL

                      I mean, hell, go read that article. Gillespie has been writing about unlikely libertarian heroes (and generating press that way) for more than ten years now!

                      The reactions he was getting ten years ago sound just like the ones he’s still getting today.

                      It still works!

                      And anytime you try to appeal to any audience, it ends up coming across as fake and hollow.

                      The point of these articles is to be provocative, too, you know. It wouldn’t surprise me if he left Firefly off of the list on purpose just to generate more interest in the article.

                      He should do a list of the best libertarian books next–and don’t put anything on there by Ayn Rand, just to troll the Objectivists

                    2. I’m twenty and not feeling the attitude. I don’t like the word any more than you do. Would you like for the youth to leave the Libertarian movement? I can go all green commie bastard in half a second, I listen to that crap every day in class.

                    3. You listen to professors lecture about how capitalism and culture work together, without government interference, to give us a freer and more prosperous society?

                      Wow, what are you, an Econ student at the University of Chicago? That must be awesome!

        2. Yes, but all I could think about is how different things could be if Kojak was still on the air.

    2. There are some other basic things, too, like how hard it is to qualify for a home loan since Obama recreated Wall Street in his image.

      Making it so people on the lower end of the income scale could have access to quality homes–that they could own for themselves was real progress.

      And there wasn’t anything wrong with that–the problem was Barack Obama putting the taxpayer on the hook for those loans when they went bad.

      We shouldn’t have created that moral hazard, and we shouldn’t have let Obama using his own decision to put the taxpayers on the hook for losses–as an excuse to prohibit entrepreneurs from finding new and better ways to finance the homes people want to buy…

      Why wouldn’t people feel less enthusiastic about the American dream, when our president spent years campaigning on pushing the American dream out of the reach of more Americans–’cause they’re all too astupid to understand the risks?

  5. What the hell is a Kojak?

    /Millenial Libertarian Moment

    1. 95% of the time, unknown Internetese nouns refer to creative sex acts.

      1. Urban dictionary:
        -To drive straight into a parking space, improbably available right outside the place you were headed, even though this is normally totally impossible to do. The 70s television detective Kojak routinely did this in every episode, parking in front of the courthouse, the police station, the trendiest nightclub in town…anywhere.
        -A mixture of cocaine and Prozac. Best taken nasally.
        -Slang for penis. Named after the famous bald lollipop-sucking fictitious TV detective played by Telly Savalas.

        But isn’t everything slang for penis nowadays?

    2. Incidentally…

      Since people started coming out of the closet in a big way, there are seeming gay things they wouldn’t put on TV anymore.

      Nowadays, we see the lesbian undertones of Laverne and Shirley as groundbreaking, but back when Laverne and Shirley was on the air, 99% of the gay people out there were closeted. Hardly anybody knew anyone who was openly gay–so there were no lesbian undertones.

      If you could sit through an episode of Kojak today, you’d think that Kojak was openly gay. The way he presents himself, the way he dresses, the way he’s always sucking on a lollipop–and, I mean, he’s ALWAYS sucking on a lollipop–and the way he’s always calling people “baby”. His catchphrase is “Who loves you, Baby?”

      You look at it now, and you think he’s totally gay. But women at the time thought of him as Vin Diesel.

      This video isn’t quite as good as Shatner’s performance as Rocket Man, but it’s up there in that league:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e50KIEfj7cc

  6. Dear Reason:

    Rather than reposting articles for the weekend, could you please bump them with comments from the original thread intact?

    Many of us spent many precious minutes of our lives devising over-the-top criticisms of Nick’s ostentatious writing style, for which he very well might actually be paid money rather than merely tolerated in between his really good interviews, and we’d rather not see them buried or have to cut & paste them for the weekend libertarian crew.

    Your pal,
    Knarf the subscriber

    1. Ya don’t mess with this pussycat.

      1. Oops. That wasn’t supposed to be a reply.

    2. Dear Reason:

      Please disregard Knarf Yenrab’s request and make sure you cut off the old comments prior to reposting the articles as there is nothing more annoying than wading through a hundred old comments and accidentally replying to comments from 5 days ago.

      Your better pal,
      Francisco the donor

      1. Frank, please meet Knarf; I’ll bet you two have a lot to discuss.
        Mind if I sell tickets to the ‘discussion’?

      2. “there is nothing more annoying than wading through a hundred old comments and accidentally replying to comments from 5 days ago.”

        Much like accidentally discharging a firearm.

      3. Dear Reason:
        Don’t do what Francisco said.

        Playa,
        an even bigger donor

        1. Dear Reason:

          Playa is a poopy head.

          Francisco,
          not a poopy head

      4. Dear Reason,

        Franco is right do as he says.

        1. Dear Reason:

          Cytotoxic isn’t even American.

          1. and doesn’t even mention a donation, the feckless parasite

            1. Dear Reason,

              Fuck you.

              Sincerely,

              That’s why.

    3. Look man, what do you expect: the magazine is actually run by a cadre of feckless interns who think ‘Von Mises’ is a new line of hipster trucker hats, while Matt and Nick zip around the country in the Koch-Bros-Learjet, attending cocktail parties with the 1% and occasionally sending Cathy Young updated instructions on how to perpetuate institutional patriarchy. You’ll take the warmed-up leftovers of last week’s magazine any way they serve it to you and *like it*, lest you get your invitation to this year’s Bohemian Grove Monocle-Fest and Rape-Off (*Sponsored By Monsanto) revoked.

      1. Sounds like the prime event of the social season.

        By the way, the Jews, the Catholics and the Masons are holding an ecumenical dinner where we discuss dividing the world among us. We’re thinking of inviting the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy to share in the spoils, anyone wanna come?

        1. Oh, not *THEM* again. They eat all the cashews out of the mixed-nuts, then get drunk and insist everyone sing along to ‘Sweet Home Alabama’. Don’t even get them started on Hillary. I thought after we let them have all the Arab oil they’ve let the rest of us alone.

        2. The builderburgers laugh at your ecumnical dinner.

          Posers

      2. Libertarians don’t get invited by the 1%. Those are too busy partying with the Obamas and the Clintons and the Gores

  7. The tags to this story:

    “History
    Economic Growth
    Economic Stagnation
    TV”

    Should have included:

    “Floppy man-tits
    Chest Hair
    Desperate Optimism
    Drunken Italian PhD”

  8. Dad’s advice: Don’t go into developing anything here unless you are a millionaire and have enough connections at City Hall.

    If you have the connections, the millions will come to you.

  9. For all the righteous rage related to the crassly and frankly sexist rhetoric around GamerGate, here too we’ve come a long way (baby). Take a look again at Savalas’ body there on that cover. Like virtually every other male sex symbol of the time?including even rock stars like Robert Plant and sex machines like Warren Beatty?he’s a piece of human veal. And yet he’s confident and unembarrassed despite sporting less definition than a spelling bee for illiterates.

    That body, I’d argue, is the essence of male privilege and it has largely disappeared not just from the covers of People but from most relationships.

    I guess Nick found some time to burn bras with Amanda Marcotte in between binge-watching reruns of Kojak and drunk-blogging for the Daily Beast…

  10. I watched an old Dirty Jobs, this morning. Rowe was working in a steel mill. Something tells me, the same sort of people who mope about how WE JUST DON’T MAKE ANYTHING IN THIS COUNTRY ANYMORE! would take one look at the giant energy sucking mess which is a steel recycling mini-mill and immediately ask why the EPA allows such eco-nightmares to exist.

  11. I remember Telly Savalas always being fucking gross. The fact that a small subset wanted to starfuck him doesn’t mean he wasn’t always gross.

  12. We need to inoculate the minds of our youth to fight against the liberty haters of all stripes.

    That ship ran aground long ago.

  13. The quote needs clearer attribution and a sarcasm warning.

    In any case, like an overactive immune system, the kinds of social institutions we once created to combat real problems now are attacking whatever they can find.

    (Apparently, according to Jackson, companies are run by white racists even if they have a smaller percentage of white employees than the general population.)

  14. He should have said 1974 Vega. The 1977 model’s engine was much, much better.

    1. Nick doesn’t know shit about culture, much less cars.

  15. Mr. Manly Kojak coyly validates the middle-aged man who’s lost his inner stud because his wife and family took a gigantic vacuum and sucked his goddamn warrior soul out. Just sayin’, bitches. Nothing wrong with domestication and being a good father and husband but nowhere in that mess of fucking dirty dishes, hungry dogs, screaming kids, and a bitchy wife on a period is the man lion. Vamoosa-el-gone-0. I’m pretty sure this is not what Gillespie’s talking about- but then again Gillespie might have been in his feminist mode when he penned the thing. I’d just like to hear Gillespie growl even once.

  16. I’m pretty sure I could find an ugly bitch on a magazine cover so in Nick’s world we had “female privilege” also.

  17. my roomate’s half-sister makes $73 hourly on the internet . She has been without work for 9 months but last month her income was $13602 just working on the internet for a few hours. navigate to this site…

    ???? http://www.cashbuzz40.com

  18. In the 1970s “social liberty” was at its peak, at least in the past 110 years or so.

  19. By 1977 the Vega engine was re-engineered and was verified “fixed” by a 60,000 mile in 60 day torture test through the desert southwest. Pontiac’s version of the Vega, the Astre, got the “iron duke” 4 cylinder engine. Public perception of unreliability was hard to overcome and both cars were “terminated” only to be ressurected as Vega based Chevrolet monza and Pontiac Sunbird. The “iron duke ” contined as the base engine as well as every Vega owners fantasy becoming an option- a Chevrolet small block V-8 (262.5 cu. In.) . This Vega based platform became so popular that Buick and Oldsmobile requested and received their own Vega-based Monza variants. When i first met my Wife, Carla, she owned a notchback Chevy Monza V-8.

  20. Chevrolet’s previous small car disaster (the Corvair) was more the result of not educating American drivers how to drive a rear engine 6 cylinder automobile than anything else. I have anvearly 1960’s car magazine article where a NASCAR driver found a 356 Porsche to have poor handling.

    1. They used to make a kit, with motor mounts, a transaxle, and headers, that let us drop a 455 Olds into a Corvair.

      It used to be pretty popular conversion because the Corvairs were cheap, and they made 455s forever! You could take your pick out of the junkyard, and they’d sell ’em cheap.

      Like this one:

      http://corvaircenter.com/phoru…..766,320197

      Anyway, when Nader wrote that Corvairs were unsafe at any speed, I don’t think he tested them at the speeds we were hitting.

      I’m just sayin’.

  21. Correction – the Vega-based Monza first came on the scene in 1975. It was even raced briefly beating Porsche.

  22. So – can someone explain the difference between “Cultural Libertarianism” and “Cultural Marxism”? Seems to me once you take economics out of the picture, they’re pretty much the same breed of cat.

    1. I already did that.

      Three posts in a row starting right here:

      https://reason.com/blog/2014/11…..nt_4871802

      Cultural libertarianism is older than economic libertarianism. …certainly if you trace economic libertarianism back the Adam Smith, “Wealth of Nations” came out in 1776, but “Theory of Moral Sentiments” came out in 1759.

      In some ways, you could say Smith wrote “Wealth of Nations” for people who weren’t sharp enough to understand what he was saying in “Theory of Moral Sentiments”, since, you know, economics lets people count on their fingers.

      1. I see. Shorter version, there ain’t no damn difference.

        1. Yeah, it all works the same way. It’s just easier to track it in financial terms because the benefits are tied to currency.

          The difference between property rights and civil rights is mostly semantic, but semantic differences are important if we’re trying to be evangelical about libertarianism.

          Gillespie’s probably not preaching to the choir as much here, but that’s a good thing. He’s certainly still preaching the gospel truth–it’s still libertarian as all get out.

          I wish more of my fellow libertarians realized that. It would help us spread the good news to the unconverted better ourselves.

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