McCelery

by Don Boudreaux on July 20, 2011

in Food and Drink, Hubris and humility, Man of System

Here’s a letter to an angry e-mail correspondent:

Dear Mr. E__________:

I normally ignore people who describe me (as you so charmingly do) as “a sh**eating lackey for the Koch brothers.”  But the confused thinking running throughout your e-mail is so interesting that I’ll break my rule.

You wonder how I can “sleep nights carrying water for Corporate America.”  Why do I not, you ask, spend my energies “for example exposing McDonald’s greedy refusal to stop serving nasty killer foods”?  In your very next sentence you ask how I “can stand by idly while corporations manipulate customers needs and demands with advertising and marketing budgets bigger than [presumably the government budgets of] most African countries.”

Question: if corporations can so easily “manipulate customers needs and demands with advertising and marketing,” why doesn’t McDonald’s simply serve raw celery?  Celery being much less costly for McDonald’s to buy than ground beef and chicken patties, a raw-celery-only menu at McDonald’s would slash that company’s costs.  And with its nefarious facility at using “advertising and marketing” to hypnotize consumers into buying whatever it peddles (even “nasty killer foods”!), that fast-food behemoth will keep consumers spending as much on McCelery stalks as consumers now spend on Happy Meals and Egg McMuffins.  McDonald’s profits will zoom upward!

Because you’re correct that, like all private corporations, McDonald’s is “never satisfied with lower profits when [it] can snatch higher profits,” I do wonder why the raw-celery-only menu option has never occurred to the moguls at McDonald’s.  Perhaps you can help me figure out why.

Sincerely,
Donald J. Boudreaux

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{ 102 comments }

Adam July 20, 2011 at 6:43 am

Fantastic. A home run. Should definitely be on the short list for your book.

Paul Myers July 20, 2011 at 7:02 am

Thank you. This is one of the best things I have ever read.

John S. July 20, 2011 at 7:18 am

This is similar to the old argument about women’s pay. If women are paid only 57% of what a man earns for doing the same work (such was the statistic in the 80s, supposedly), corporations could instantly cut their labor costs by firing all men and hiring all women. Why don’t they?

Methinks1776 July 20, 2011 at 7:32 am

Perhaps when they come back from maternity leave….

vikingvista July 20, 2011 at 1:33 pm

Where they are passing their time reading up on sexual discrimination lawsuits.

Methinks1776 July 20, 2011 at 2:34 pm

LOL!

Tim July 20, 2011 at 3:26 pm

Nice to bash maternity leave when it’s not something you ever have to worry about….eh?

Methinks1776 July 20, 2011 at 3:38 pm

I’m a woman, Timmy. It’s something I spent a lifetime “worrying about”. I’m not “bashing” it. I’m pointing out a trade-off. You progressives always manage to miss the point, don’t you? It’s like a disease you all suffer from.

Don Boudreaux July 20, 2011 at 3:43 pm

Here’s a link to one of my all-time favorite “Quotations of the Day…”:
http://cafehayek.com/2011/06/quotation-of-the-day-7.html

rmv July 20, 2011 at 3:44 pm

I just knew some idiot would assume.

Pete July 20, 2011 at 3:50 pm

Having already once read that MeThinks1776 was female, this thread was really entertaining to read post-by-post, kind of like watching painful dramatic irony in a comedy.

Harold Cockerill July 20, 2011 at 6:47 pm

Maybe Tim assumes someone with the handle “Methinks” can’t be a woman.

Gil July 20, 2011 at 7:48 am

Last time I looked most low-to-medium office workers are women.

John Dewey July 20, 2011 at 8:54 am

Where’d you look?

Russ Nelson July 20, 2011 at 9:14 am

Are you intentionally not responding to the point, or are you just stupid. Oh, wait, this is **Gil**. Yeah, you’re stupid.

Gil July 20, 2011 at 9:29 pm

Yes dickhead, I was responding to John S assertions that businesses should hire women because they do indeed. Just about every I go most women are employed in office jobs.

Rugby1 July 20, 2011 at 1:26 pm

That’s funny last time I looked I reported to a fantastic female managing partner who somehow managed to have children, and run a very successful business. Isn’t antecdotal evidence fun?

Ron H July 21, 2011 at 3:06 am

Last time I looked most low-to-medium office workers are women.

Low to medium what, height?

Ken July 20, 2011 at 10:15 pm

” If women are paid only 57% of what a man earns for doing the same work”

Women weren’t doing the same work men were doing, nor are they today. It’s a bullshit statistic that has literally been debunked thousands of times.

Regards,
Ken

ruprecht67 July 22, 2011 at 8:58 am

In addition to the maternity leave I read once that the number of women willing to grab the first salary offer was much higher than males grabbing the first offer. This naturally leads to a lower starting salary for those women.

Is that the companies fault?

Methinks1776 July 20, 2011 at 7:31 am

Was that an email from Algore, the chicken hypnotist?

Greg Webb July 20, 2011 at 1:05 pm

No, it sounds like George.

Methinks1776 July 20, 2011 at 1:29 pm

I dunno….not enough grammatical errors and spelling mistakes, Greg.

Greg Webb July 20, 2011 at 10:03 pm

Good point…

Shawn Slayton July 20, 2011 at 7:44 am

“…sh** eating lackey for the Koch brothers.” There are worse jobs out there!

vidyohs July 20, 2011 at 10:36 pm

Plus a good cajun can do a lot with some Tabasco sauce, some okra, some rice, and some red beans.

I am sorry I just couldn’t resist the opportunity to poke some fun.

Good reply Don, except when you talk reasonably to people like the one who wrote that attempted putdown, you give his stupidity enough recognition that he thinks he made a point. That kind of blind willful stupidity is cured best with retro-active birth control.

russell July 20, 2011 at 7:49 am

as always with liberals, they assume they’re smarter than everyone else. if mcdonalds is so effective at manipulating it customers, why has mr. e not come under their spell? alas, it’s because he’s so brilliant that he sees right through the advertising and marketing lies, while the rest of us dummies fall for the lies, blinding spending our time and money on crappy food.

mcdonalds isn’t making their money off first-time customers that never return (because of crappy food), they’re making a fortune because they offer value for the consumer’s dollar, inducing most customers to return again and again.

morganovich July 20, 2011 at 11:19 am

rus-

i think it goes even a bit further. “progressives” believe that most people are stupid benighted drones unable to make even rudimentary decisions about their own well being.

the masses are in desperate need of enlightened despotic leadership to keep them from harming themselves, silly little children that they are.

but, fortunately, we, the progressives, know just what you need.

worse, these clowns seem to think that wealth is zero sum, like some spring in the desert that creates X amount of water ever day. therefore, if you have more than i do, you must be hogging it. they fail to see that wealth does not just appear, but must be created and that taking from the productive to give to the unproductive is a negative sum process.

progressive used to mean somehting useful. now is is synonymous with narcissistic fascism and nepotism.

PrometheeFeu July 20, 2011 at 1:50 pm

Very similar to conservatives. We’re screwed…

Methinks1776 July 20, 2011 at 2:35 pm

+1

ettubloge July 20, 2011 at 7:49 am

He must have read John Kenneth Galbraith. Everyone knows how Big Corporations control comsumers’ spending. I just bought 2 Chevys yesterday insured by AIG.

Gil July 20, 2011 at 7:50 am

Yet public schools are supposed to be “master brainwashers” to Libertarians?

Alternatively, why didn’t Don cite cigarette companies when suggesting that people should have the right to ingest poisons if they want to?

Don Boudreaux July 20, 2011 at 8:06 am

I believe that cigarette smokers should indeed be unhampered by all the paternalistic regulations and taxes slapped on them over the past half-century.

Russ Nelson July 20, 2011 at 9:16 am

Noooooo!!!! They would have to compete in the free market, then! HAVE YOU ANY IDEA OF WHAT WOULD HAPPEN TO THEIR PROFITS?? You’re being completely irresponsible here.

Mark July 20, 2011 at 9:00 am

Gil,

Cigarette companies have never coerced me (or anyone else) to buy their products. However, I am forced to pay for government schools through my taxes – I have NO CHOICE. Unless I can afford to send my kids to a private school (while still having to pay for vastly inferior government schools) my children are forced to ingest the poison that is spewed forth to them in government schools.

Ken July 20, 2011 at 11:20 am

Gil,

Aren’t public school run by government bureaucrats completely shielded from market forces? Or are you really comparing the way a private company does business to a government run institution?

Regards,
Ken

porkrhino July 20, 2011 at 4:54 pm

Just wondering, have any of you public-school bashers ever spent any time in a public school in your entire life or ever sent your kids to school there? Furthermore, why do you assume that the every public school in the entire country is the exact same even though local governments control funding and states control curriculum? Perhaps you could explain why so many members of the elite political class you hate so much have been educated at private schools, why Prof. Boudreaux teaches at a Public university, and why suburban public schools in the US (ie excluding inner cities and rural areas like Appalachia) score just as well on international standardized tests as kids in South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Finland, and Germany, and well above those in China. You people simply refuse to accept the fact that there are plenty of good public schools out there and that the world is not a black-and-white, monolithic struggle between tyrannical, uniformly atrocious public schools and flawless, wonderful private schools.

PS Where I live the public schools outperform the private schools on tests and in most other areas measuring academic success.

MWG July 20, 2011 at 5:41 pm

“Just wondering, have any of you public-school bashers ever spent any time in a public school in your entire life…”

Yes.

“Furthermore, why do you assume that the every public school in the entire country is the exact same even though local governments control funding and states control curriculum?”

Who assumes that?

“Perhaps you could explain why so many members of the elite political class you hate so much have been educated at private schools…”

What’s to explain? She libertarians have to explain why so many members of the elite political class we hate so much also have hair or drive cars?

“…why Prof. Boudreaux teaches at a Public university…”

Yes, that’s right. Libertarians shouldn’t complain as long as they drive on publicly funded roadz.

Prof. Boudreaux is against public funding of educations. He also (GASP!) is tenured, but he’s against that system as well.

“…and why suburban public schools in the US (ie excluding inner cities and rural areas like Appalachia) score just as well on international standardized tests as kids in South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Finland, and Germany, and well above those in China.’

Fantastic… now, if you would be so kind as to provide some sort of graph or study that compares per pupil costs amongst those countries you listed, we could have a real discussion about how the US stacks up against other countries.

“PS Where I live the public schools outperform the private schools on tests and in most other areas measuring academic success.”

So you should have no problem then with breaking up the public monopoly that is public education and forcing them to compete for students and funding, right?

MWG July 20, 2011 at 5:45 pm

Barf! Grammatical errors. I blame my public education… and the lack of a preview button due to the authoritarians who control this part of the interwebs (Roberts and Boudreaux)!

Ken July 20, 2011 at 5:48 pm

pork,

“have any of you public-school bashers ever spent any time in a public school in your entire life or ever sent your kids to school there?”

Yes. I did K-12 in public school in Maryland. It sucked. Except for math and physics, my classes were leftist indocrination, particularly the evils of the west, the white man, free markets, and the angelic nature of the benevolent government. Didn’t you know that the only thing wrong with communism is how it was implemented?

“why do you assume that the every public school in the entire country is the exact same even though local governments control funding and states control curriculum? ”

No one assumes that. However, all institutions are subject to the same thing: incentives. The incentives for public schools is NOT to educate children, but to appease the political class.

“Perhaps you could explain why so many members of the elite political class you hate so much have been educated at private schools”

That’s part of the hating. They expose themselves as hypocrites. If the public school systems they set up are so wonderful, why didn’t they go there and why don’t they send their children there? They knowing set up bad educational systems so that they can control the education of other people’s children.

“why suburban public schools in the US (ie excluding inner cities and rural areas like Appalachia)”

Why only compare our best schools to the average international school? This is incredibly intellectually dishonest. The fact that you even say it without a hint of embarassment shows the decrepitude of statists.

“You people simply refuse to accept the fact that… the world is not a black-and-white”

On the contrary. Libertarians are the ONLY ones who admit the world is not black and white. By the right and left see the world in whatever warped way they want to see it and impose all sorts of restrictions and regulations to force everyone to act, learn, and think exactly as they do. Only libertarians preach the dignity of the individual at all times, recognizing that what may be good for a child in inner city New York is different than for one living in rural Alaska. To DC bureaucrats on the right and left, they don’t care. All these kids get treated the same. Libertarians will leave these people alone to let their parents decide how best to educate their kids and provide for the children’s needs without interfering due to an over developed ego. Only libertarians are humble enough to admit that we don’t have the knowledge to know what is good for everyone in all places and all times. Libertarians are the only one humble enough to recognize that no matter how smart we are and knowledgable, the person best suited for making decisions about your life is you, not me.

“monolithic struggle between tyrannical, uniformly atrocious public schools and flawless, wonderful private schools.”

No one is arguing that except you, setting yourself up a staw man to knock down.

“Where I live the public schools outperform the private schools on tests and in most other areas measuring academic success.”

So? Where I live the public schools are the shame of the nation and more money is spent per child than the most expensive private schools in the country. Also, academic performance isn’t the only or even main problem with public schools. Many are just structurally unsafe and many are polluted with gang violence. In other words, many public schools can’t even provide a basic level of safety to their children.

Regards,
Ken

Gary W. July 24, 2011 at 4:23 pm

Actually, I am quite familiar with public schools. For example, I’ve recently read about the district in Atlanta that organized systematic cheating on standardized testing.
I also sent my children, for two years, to public school. My son received “honor roll” at his public school both years. By our choice, we transferred him to a parochial school a mile from his former public school. After a couple of weeks my wife and I were called in where they said he was so far behind the others; he simply could catch up so he doubled the grade. He “passed” second grade twice and by year end he had caught up to where he should have started with a year wasted. He simply had not been introduced to the coursework of his parochial third grade contemporaries (phonics etc.) He’s 35 now and that scar remains.
I also spent 25 years as a corporate head of human resources. We were compelled to spend millions on teaching fundamental writing, language and mathematics skills to public high school graduates just to enable their entry to the workforce. Their average writing and reading comprehension skill simply are well below par. Look at your local university and seek what percentages of new students are required to take remedial coursework. The NY Times reported more than 60 percent of students enrolling at two-year colleges, and 20 percent to 30 percent at four-year colleges, take remedial courses and many of these are graduates of so called high school “college prep” curriculums. This academic “rework” is reflective of the state of public education can only be described as a pathetic waste.
I’m glad you have a good public school. It’s the exception.

Speedmaster July 20, 2011 at 7:50 am

>> “… a sh**eating lackey for the Koch brothers.”

This must be the new civility from the Left we keep hearing so much about. ;-)

Krishnan July 20, 2011 at 10:23 am

The Left is always civil (just ask them)… only those that oppose the left are not being civil and are evil … In short, it does not matter how outrageous and brutal and rude and what not the left it, it is ALL the fault of those that oppose the left.

Darren July 20, 2011 at 7:45 pm

There’s a lot of pressure involved in being smarter than everyone else while not being recognized for it.

vikingvista July 20, 2011 at 9:46 pm

And just think of all the ingratitude they suffer.

Ike July 20, 2011 at 12:00 pm
SaulOhio July 20, 2011 at 7:57 am

On my way to work every day, I see a McDonald’s billboard advertizing an Asian Salad. It looks very healthy. In the corner, the billboard says “For a limited time only”. I wonder why it is for a limited time, if McDonald’s can get people to buy it with their hypnotic advertizing powers.

jcpederson July 20, 2011 at 5:04 pm

See also, McRibs, Shamrock Shakes

Darren July 20, 2011 at 7:46 pm

Those hypnotic advertising powers have an effect for only a limited time.

Michael Bourne July 20, 2011 at 8:06 am

Memories of GCSE Business Studies (um, sorry can’t translate that into US education system, last couple of years of high school I guess?) are hazy but isn’t product one of the four P’s of marketing? Mr E may suggest that the taste of a Mcdonalds burgers, combined with the rest of their marketing, is what makes people buy them, and a lack of information means people don’t know whether they are eating “nasty killer” products or not.

Personally, I’m a fan of celery, but popular opinion seems to be it doesn’t taste as good as a Big Mac (I can’t cite sources I’m afraid), hence why even the marketing machinery of Mcdonalds couldn’t make a success of McCelery.

For a comparable real life example look up what happened when Coca Cola tried to sell bottled tap water in the UK. Don’t know how “Dasani” is doing in the US….

Michael July 20, 2011 at 10:15 am

Both Aquafina and Dasani are bottled from municipal water…

Contrary to popular belief, there’s not a whole wrong with tap water.

Gil July 20, 2011 at 9:19 pm

Yes there is – it should be supplied by private companies not government.

Ken July 20, 2011 at 10:12 pm

Of course that’s completely correct, Gil, although I suspect you were trying to be sarcastic. You seem to think that just because the gov can do something or all ready does it, it should do it or continue to do it, without a thought as to the corruption associated with every single government agency and politician.

Regards,
Ken

Greg July 20, 2011 at 10:37 am

Dasani is widely popular in the U.S.

Mr. Bodreaux’s example is a good counterpoint to the angry hate mail, but as a general principle it fails to acknowledge the very real constraints on a company like McDonalds.

Mr. Bourne is spot-on: that the ultimate reason people eat McDonalds is that it tastes good. But *within the space of good-tasting foods*, Mr. E is actually quite right that McDonalds has an enormous amount of marketing power and political clout that can sway public opinion through direct advertisement and implicit charitable and political support, particularly in the face of a populace that is as poorly educated and consumer-oriented as ours in America.

It is clearly cheaper for McDonalds to use “nasty killer” ingredients and lobby Congress than it is to use fresh ingredients and cut the lobbying effort. This is fine, and ought to be expected, but the fact that they are so successful is a scary reflection not on corporate culture but on the popular culture that does not reject it.

Emil July 20, 2011 at 2:06 pm

“Mr. Bourne is spot-on: that the ultimate reason people eat McDonalds is that it tastes good”

No, the ultimate reason is most certainly the fact that it tastes good FOR THE PRICE THEY CHARGE and that it is convenient and fast.

Pom-Pom July 21, 2011 at 5:12 pm

And, it might not be a great dining experience, but it won’t be a bad one.

And, the thing I get today will be just like yesterday. (Reliable quality.)

John Dewey July 20, 2011 at 4:05 pm

Greg: “the fact that they are so successful is a scary reflection not on corporate culture but on the popular culture that does not reject it.”

I’m not sure what you feel is so scary about the food offered by McDonald’s. What is scary about allowing consumers to choose what they wish to eat? Consumers know they’re not eating the healthiest food – but they still make that choice.

The market – not McDonald’s – has selected the so-called “killer ingredients” you refer to. Consumers have been offered healthier foods and fresher foods by other companies and by McDonald’s. Those consumers reject those foods. What’s scary about that?

Do you believe the food most Americans consume today is any more or less nutritious and healthy than the food Americans consumed six decades ago? I don’t believe that. In fact, I believe just the opposite.

What has changed over the past six decades – the lifetime of McDonald’s and of me – has been a gradual decline in exercise. But again, that’s the choice adults have made for their children and for themselves. Why is that so scary to you?

Greg July 20, 2011 at 10:38 am

Dasani is widely popular in the U.S.

Mr. Bodreaux’s example is a good counterpoint to the angry hate mail, but as a general principle it fails to acknowledge the very real constraints on a company like McDonalds.

Mr. Bourne is spot-on: that the ultimate reason people eat McDonalds is that it tastes good. But *within the space of good-tasting foods*, Mr. E is actually quite right that McDonalds has an enormous amount of marketing power and political clout that can sway public opinion through direct advertisement and implicit charitable and political support, particularly in the face of a populace that is as poorly educated and consumer-oriented as ours in America.

It is clearly cheaper for McDonalds to use “nasty killer” ingredients and lobby Congress than it is to use fresh ingredients and cut the lobbying effort. This is fine, and ought to be expected, but the fact that they are so successful is a scary reflection not on corporate culture but on the popular culture that does not reject it.

Ameet July 20, 2011 at 11:24 am

May I just note that I prefer a populace that has an obesity problem from all these “nasty killer” foods that corporations have brought to market to satisfy consumer desires than a populace facing periodic famines and other food shortages (Ireland in the 1800s, Scotland after the ’45, parts of India during the second World War) and no corporations offering “nasty killer” foods but only fresh ingredients available at local markets which degrade without preservatives.

Maybe I’m naive, but that we’ve made so much progress against hunger in our country that we whine about preservatives, fast food and obesity sounds like something to celebrate to me.

Ameet July 20, 2011 at 11:27 am

May I just note that I prefer a populace that has an obesity problem from all these “nasty killer” foods that corporations have brought to market to satisfy consumer desires than a populace facing periodic famines and other food shortages (Ireland in the 1800s, Scotland after the ’45, parts of India during the second World War) and no corporations offering “nasty killer” foods but only fresh ingredients available at local markets which degrade without preservatives.

Maybe I’m naive, but that we’ve made so much progress against hunger in our country that we whine about preservatives, fast food and obesity sounds like something to celebrate to me.

Pete July 20, 2011 at 11:29 am

I’m missing your point. What exactly is McD’s lobbying Congress for? The right to sell a product to willing customers, using ingredients that when eaten (in reasonable quantities) are perfectly safe and healthy?

Unlike other companies, McD’s doesn’t need bailouts or regulations restricting competition. They fight tooth and nail for every dollar every day.

Dan J July 20, 2011 at 2:21 pm

Like everyone else, McDonalds will lobby for a special provision in tax code that either they or their industry is applicable. They may have to lobby in efforts to counter the insanity of groups who claim the kind of madness such as the e-mailer.

Ken July 20, 2011 at 3:17 pm

Pete,

How about lobbying to keep politicians from destroying your company? Take a look at the number of lobbyists Microsoft had before and after its anti-trust suit. The clear message from politicians: if you don’t send lobbyists to DC to wine, dine, and bribe us, we will destroy your company.

Regards,
Ken

Kirby July 20, 2011 at 12:40 pm

one of my friends, who is really quite smart in other areas, believes that people buy stuff from walmart because that is what walmart sells.

expat July 20, 2011 at 8:46 am

Thank you thank you ! I would never have thought of an argument like this, can I have permission to use it whenever my leftie friends talk about those evil marketers ?

Dennis H. Bennett July 20, 2011 at 8:49 am

A rather tragic example of the projection of shallow personal views transformed into another sphere, here it being economics. From Rosie “O”
“May I have another McMassengil, please” to Keynesi”O” “May I have another McStimulus, please”, the shallowness continues.

Doug July 20, 2011 at 8:51 am

If McDonalds was even better, they would serve what the Koch Brothers, apparently, serve to their lackeys. The margins would be outstanding! Think of all the varierty…bull, horse, elephant…

I’m feeling very sleepy……

Mark T July 20, 2011 at 3:46 pm

That was as funny as the post.

LowcountryJoe July 21, 2011 at 9:50 pm

Think of the profit opportunities in getting paid to pick-up all the ‘unprepared foods’ left behind from dogs in the lawns of homes across the United States.

If they’re as good with processing/food conversion as they are with marketing, we’d all be putty in Ronald McDonald’s hands.

ProgContra July 20, 2011 at 9:13 am

What I can’t understand is if these people have such powerful advertising tools at their disposal, why can’t politicians use them? Why isn’t the US (or other western country) a one-party state? Surely Obama would use the same advertising techniques to keep the Democrats in power for perpituity?

GP Hanner July 20, 2011 at 9:28 am

Bravo!

I wonder if he actually got the message.

Josh S July 20, 2011 at 9:45 am

Man, I want a Big Mac now. Mmmm…supa-killa special sauce….*drool*

Robert July 20, 2011 at 9:46 am

Didn’t Ford try this with the model T? “They can have it in any color as long as its black.”

It destroyed their market dominance.

Andy July 20, 2011 at 10:28 am

He probably thinks they’d be serving rat poison if it weren’t for food inspectors.

Michael July 20, 2011 at 10:29 am

I swear I had a facebook kerfuffle with this guy – are his initials JM? I think he’s a facebook friend of one of my friends. In any event, I couldn’t have said it better myself. However, I doubt it will do any good because, to paraphrase Frederic Bastiat, while there is only one truth, sophisms abound. Even if he recognizes the error in this particular sophism, he’ll just trade it for another, since pursuit of a clear understanding of reality does not seem to be the goal.

Lionel from France July 20, 2011 at 11:22 am

Well said, Don.

Observer_Guy1 July 20, 2011 at 12:55 pm

“a sh**eating lackey for the Koch brothers.”

Are you taking issue with that characterization? Please elaborate.

Henry July 20, 2011 at 1:00 pm

Eh, I’m no leftist, but you’re attacking a straw man here. I doubt Mr E or almost anyone else believes that corporate advertising has the power to brainwash people into buying literally anything. It’d be like if you railed against political corruption and someone replied with “Yeah? So why aren’t all Congressmen billionaires?”

Thomas Bayes July 20, 2011 at 1:16 pm
The Other Tim July 20, 2011 at 1:36 pm

Really? I’ve run across this idea on many occasions. It’s one of the primary ways vegans and naturalists and organic-nuts deal with the reality that hardly anyone wants to eat their food.

Dan J July 20, 2011 at 2:25 pm

Really! S.F. Banned happy meals with toys because McDonalds has brainwashed children who become adults buying the French fries and cannot control themselves.

Gil July 20, 2011 at 9:25 pm

That’s my point – many Libertarians thinks public schools have the power to brainwash. So apparently the governemnt outperforms the market in advertising.

Dan J July 20, 2011 at 9:59 pm

Govt has captive audience

Ken July 20, 2011 at 10:08 pm

Gil,

“many Libertarians thinks public schools have the power to brainwash”

That’s because there’s a marked difference between a child’s mind and an adult’s mind. It is far easier and more effective to brain wash a child than an adult, which is why the left has been steadily taking over education wherever it can.

Additionally, these children when subjected to advertising that may be manipulative, their parents are there to put it in context and explain things better. When a teacher lies to indoctrinate children, no one is there to provide context or a different point of view. And the children MUST learn these points of view to pass tests. There is no punishment, like a failing grade, if you resist being manipulated by advertisement.

“So apparently the governemnt outperforms the market in advertising.”

When you’ve got the biggest guns and a to use them, it’s amazing how you can outperform advertising in getting people to do what you want.

Regards,
Ken

Ken July 20, 2011 at 10:19 pm

Edit: “When you’ve got the biggest guns and a willingness to use them”

Dan J July 21, 2011 at 3:19 am

Hhhmmmmmmm……. Big guns

LowcountryJoe July 21, 2011 at 10:02 pm

I work in public K-12 education. There’s a whole lot one can do and say to influence a young person’s mind six hours a day, 180 days a year, for 13 years. Now, I might be able to remember a jingle that causes me to recall the composition of a Big Mac after 30 years [after only hearing it a dozen or so times] but that’s nothing compared to the seemingly nonstop collectivism taught in a public school for, what amounts to, a year and a half straight.

ChrisW July 20, 2011 at 1:15 pm

Twisted arguments on both sides

kyle8 July 20, 2011 at 3:11 pm

On both sides? How so? Is Don really just a corporate stooge? The problem with all of these anti-corporate screeds is that they ignore free will. There is no corporation, no matter how big, how rich, how powerful, or how amoral who can do to you what big government can.

Corporations cannot tax you, conscript you, incarcerate you, detain you, censor you, execute you, or confiscate your property. But Government can. Yet the very type of people who seem the most anti-corporate are also the same people who seem happy with big government.

kyle8 July 20, 2011 at 3:07 pm

Anyone, like that e-mailer who is that brainwashed in the anti-corporate mentality is totally hopeless. I don’t doubt that your reply went totally over their head. People who are fanatics about anything are also quite boring. there is no subject which they do not twist to their own obsession.

Mark T July 20, 2011 at 3:49 pm

I have to confess, I would have trouble “sleeping nights” if I spent them “carrying water” for anyone, corporate or otherwise. I guess that is a new syndrome: sleep -schlepping.

Anotherphil July 20, 2011 at 4:45 pm

I personally find it fascinating how the pavlovian-conditioned lackeys like E lather themselves up about corporations, ignoring how government has more potential for abuse, exploitation and coercion.

Consider when a demogagic politician like Obama serves up the specious nonsense about corporate profits and corporate jets-when he uses his “corporate jet” for important things like causing a panic flying over New York to get a nice picture, mindless of the post 911 fears and jetting his Missus and offspring to Spain mindless of the cost.

As for “profit”, what corporation can just set prices, charge everybody differently, exact all kinds of personal information and offer nothing but the relief from loss of liberty or property in exchange for payments.

What a moron. Practical men might be slaves to defunct economists, but E is a slave to his own frothing, blind envy. Never mind how many corporate products he needed to issue his idiotic screed to Don.

Lee Jamison July 20, 2011 at 7:36 pm

I like this post because it hits on a number of points about the political left.

First, All of the e-mailer’s points were drawn not from an examination of facts or measured observations, but from a list of points he has been fed by others. Nothing in his complaints rises above the level of prejudice drawn from a social circle. He does not examine his reality. He simply accepts it as it is fed to him by trusted authorities.

Second, because of the above he is unable to address, perhaps even to conceive, the possibility Dr. Boudreaux’s ideas could possibly be derived from different processes. He can only see those ideas as the product of a different set of prejudices. That brings to mind a question. If one’s own ideas are derived not from principled examinations of the world, questionings, and drawing conclusions based on what is a reasonable interpretation of the situations the examinations reveal, but, instead, from authority, how does one choose WHAT authority is really good?

Is it just the first one that you listened to?

vikingvista July 20, 2011 at 9:49 pm

The free market has totally voluntary Madison Avenue. The statists have compulsory K-12 education. You’d think the latter would have nothing to fear.

Dan J July 21, 2011 at 3:26 am

For someone like Muirgeo, if my forn of living in voluntaryism (sorry Don) is so wretched and doomed to failure, why not let me be and wallow in my failure?

If the entire state of Texas chooses volunteerism and those who don’t like it can band together under collectivism, there or elsewhere, why interfere?

What are you afraid of? Bailouts? California is the epitome of progressivism and they are in a constant state of failure.

The fear of losing control over others. Just like the dictators of the Mideast.

Don Boudreaux July 21, 2011 at 10:14 pm

What are you sorry for?

Dan J July 21, 2011 at 11:13 pm

Using your term. I am sure you did not coin it, but this is the first place I have heard the term in reference to societal living.

vikingvista July 21, 2011 at 2:24 pm

“why interfere?”

For **EXACTLY** the same reason 18th century slavers would “interfere” in the lives of West African men and women. Slavery is the very essence of socialism. It is always about the forced extraction of value from other human beings. ALWAYS.

vikingvista July 21, 2011 at 2:25 pm

Was a response to Dan J.

Dan J July 21, 2011 at 4:02 pm

We already have 50% of America not paying their ‘fair’ share. The other 50% is enslaved to the freeloaders. The political class, including connected businessmen, get transfers of wealth in form of tax subsidies or deductions that mean they pay little or no taxes.
Interference for advantages and taking from others.

jcpederson July 22, 2011 at 1:03 pm

I’m sure there will sooner or later be a McCelery, as soon as they figure out how to stick some sesame seeds on the stalks. The indulgent types can order theirs with a dab of Big Mac special sauce.

They’ll make kiosks that will get picked up by health clubs, and the Midwest won’t see anything like it for years.

Dave July 27, 2011 at 1:09 am

I fear this may be too intelligently written for a person like this to understand…

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