The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
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Ron Unz on the Subprime Mortgage Crisis, the Unz Review, and the Harvard Admissions Scandal
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Ron Unz is the publisher of the Unz Review, a controversial but widely read alternative media site hosting opinion outside of the mainstream, including from both the far right and the far left. Unz studied theoretical physics at Harvard, Cambridge and Stanford. He founded the software company Wall Street Analytics, acquired by Moody’s in 2006, and was behind the 1998 ballot initiative that ended bilingual education in California.

Podcast transcript

The Unz Review

The Myth of American Meritocracy – How corrupt are Ivy League admissions?

The Myth of American Meritocracy and Other Essays

man·i·fold /ˈmanəˌfōld/ many and various.

In mathematics, a manifold is a topological space that locally resembles Euclidean space near each point.

Steve Hsu and Corey Washington have been friends for almost 30 years, and between them hold PhDs in Neuroscience, Philosophy, and Theoretical Physics. Join them for wide ranging and unfiltered conversations with leading writers, scientists, technologists, academics, entrepreneurs, investors, and more.

Steve Hsu is VP for Research and Professor of Theoretical Physics at Michigan State University. He is also a researcher in computational genomics and founder of several Silicon Valley startups, ranging from information security to biotech. Educated at Caltech and Berkeley, he was a Harvard Junior Fellow and held faculty positions at Yale and the University of Oregon before joining MSU.

Corey Washington is Director of Analytics in the Office of Research and Innovation at Michigan State University. He was educated at Amherst College and MIT before receiving a PhD in Philosophy from Stanford and a PhD in a Neuroscience from Columbia. He held faculty positions at the University Washington and the University of Maryland. Prior to MSU, Corey worked as a biotech consultant and is founder of a medical diagnostics startup.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: American Media, Meritocracy 
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  1. Tom Verso says:

    God Bless Ron Unz!

    • Agree: Alfred, Dan Hayes
  2. An IQ of 214?

    That’s pretty impressive. The IQ scale tops out at 200.

    • Replies: @David
    , @Alfa158
  3. Anonymous[233] • Disclaimer says:

    I have a great deal of respect for Ron Unz, but I’m afraid he resembles the Beck-Coates history reader archetype Steve has sketched out on a few occasions: always blown away by the new thing he’s read, the thing he didn’t know about before, over-interpreting everything else in light of it.

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
    , @Gefreiter
  4. swamped says:

    “the Iraq war ended up being, arguably the greatest geopolitical disaster in.. the last hundred years of American history”…for anyone born after 1962. And the Vietnam War was inarguably the greatest geopolitical disaster for anyone born after 1942. And the Korean War, the greatest g-p disaster for anyone born after 1932. And WW II, the greatest g-p disaster for anyone born after 1922. Which should cover about a century leaving the greatest g-p disaster for those born after 1892 – in their trenches – just over the line. And the Iran War will probably be the greatest g-p disaster for anyone born after 2002. There’s a lot of competition of the most gruesome kind. We (they) never seem to learn. The Iraq War probably killed over half a million & probably cost about $1.7 trillion. Vietnam estimates are around three million total killed & over $1 trillion in today’s dollars. Korea about five million killed altogether on all sides & about $350 billion current dollars. WW II (for all you Hitler lovers out there) 75 million killed (maybe more, about 2/3 civilians) of which U.S. had about 400,000 perish & spent $4 trillion, inflation adjusted. So take your pick, it’s not been an easy 100 years.
    Someone should also point out that the unpalatable Paul Krugman’s opposition to the Iraq disaster was probably based more on his intense partisan loathing for George W. Bush & Republicans in general than anything else. Krugman had no problem being a dedicated apologist & cheerleader for Hillary Clinton, an early & enthusiastic supporter of the war in Iraq & just about every other war you can name. Krugman was almost as hostile to Sanders as he was to Trump (and still is), both of whom opposed the Iraq War. You can have that dirty dove.

    • Replies: @anonymous
  5. @Anonymous

    You might have a point. If I might follow your trail: Ron Unz does not understand the way, history is written and – maybe even more important: How the reception of the written history takes place.

    He talks as if history would be about factual truths, but that is only one part of it. The other part of it is: That written history is a means to constitute a group-consciousness. History is not only about the writer, it is also about his contemporaries as well. A good historian is one who is able to get across to people – and not least to his peers, too. And this is essential. The facts are an important part of the process, but they do not constitute it.

    Ron Unz’ role in the Wall Street frauds of 2008 in his version is: I haven’t done the least bit in this hell of a mess.

    If I have a look at 2008 through the lens of Matt Taibbi’s Griftopia though, it is pretty clear, that the whole scam was not least based on the mathematical work of people like Ron Unz. – I do not say that Ron Unz intended his work to be used in this way. But the whole affair h a s happened, and you can now clearly state, that all these credit-default-betrayals (etc.) were indeed firmly rooted as I said – not least in super complex mathematical models as a means of betrayal. – There is no way around this insight – at least not, if Matt Taibbi is basically right (and I do think that he is).

  6. Controversial:

    Having a chance of being pointing to truth — at least partly pointing to parts of a part of truths.

    Explanation: that is already too much for well-adjusted mankind to bear.

    Synonyms: abusive, mean, injurious, offensive, selfish, anti-social, acetous, divisive, depressive, trollish, disruptive, elitist, narcissistic. Generally: all synonyms for true and truth-attempting are synonyms for controversial.

    source: Actual Meanings Dictionary

  7. @Dieter Kief

    Anything cultural can be introverted — aimed at truth or at least authenticity — or extraverted — aimed at social status and influence acquisition.

    The “need to get across to people, not least one’s own field establishment” pertains to culture as a means to influence and power.
    I don’t have the impression Unz aspires to sheer philosophy, but he is by nature mainly introverted and so is his work.

    For instance, he tries to be rhetorically effective and draw people’s attention in his Pravda articles. The efforts to that end are visible, and I am far from judging it in vain or of poor quality/results. It’s pretty well done.
    However, the very reason that the efforts are visible is because, as an orator and a people mover, Unz is not a natural.
    Any meshing of introversion and extroversion, however competently done, is essentially patchy.

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
  8. anastasia says:

    An IQ of 214. Good God!!!!!

  9. Gefreiter says:
    @Anonymous

    always blown away by the new thing he’s read, the thing he didn’t know about before, over-interpreting everything else in light of it.

    I don’t think he ends up “over-interpreting”. I have written that he cannot recognize the forest for the trees.

    Take his latest American Pravda, How Hitler saved the Allies. In it, Ron basically conceded that the vast majority of what has been written by “historians” about WWII is just plain wrong, and he even concedes just full of lies.

    So, does he throw out the narrative, and restart trying to interpret History without using any of the biased official narrative? No. he shadow bans comments about Freemasonry, he shadow bans comments that point to malicious actions by organized jewery and jewish power.

    In other words, history is to him, like just about every American too, just a teflon covered kosher narrative, where no matter how many jew lies are exposed the idea that WWI and WWII were all part of a Greater Israel conspiracy just cannot be entertained. Sure, jews murdered hundreds of millions of white Christians during these wars, but he would insist that this was just random evil jews behaving like bad jews. He would also likely pin the blame on “WASP’s”, a ridiculous Jewish hate word for Christians.

    • Replies: @Anon
    , @James N. Kennett
    , @Alden
  10. A weak interview, I wish the host was more assertive.

    There’s so many questions to ask, starting with what Unz believes himself.

    Isn’t whitewashing Mao too much?

    What made you support Sanders financially?

    Is the Jewish question THE question?

    Is whatever the alt-right morphed into a dead end?

    Libertarianism, capital L, the party, 3rd party politics.

    Why the archivist project, when it’s clearly the daily news angle that interests us.

    • Replies: @Anon
  11. @atlantis_dweller

    I think what’s at stake here is indeed a social problem – I’m writing strictly from the outside here. I don’t know Ron Unz so it would be difficult to judge his personality.
    And – to stress the obvious: Ron Unz does one very important thing perfectly right: He does a lot for free speech with his platform – and not least with its perfect comment-system!

  12. anon[320] • Disclaimer says:

    Unz studied theoretical physics at Harvard, Cambridge and Stanford. He founded the software company Wall Street Analytics, acquired by Moody’s in 2006….

    wow, good job, Ron

    i only got as far as junior college

    • LOL: atlantis_dweller
  13. anonymous[252] • Disclaimer says:
    @swamped

    I would say that the Iraq mess was containable. It was what Obama and Clinton/Kerry did that made it 100 times worse such as the elimination of Gaddafi, the funding of ISIS, the support of the Muslim Brotherhood and Arab spring, attacking Assad. The resulting destabilization brought us the Muslim/Sub-saharan infestations and put the globalist agenda on steroids (open borders, destroying Western Civ, anti-white hate).

    • Agree: freedom-cat
  14. Anon[216] • Disclaimer says:
    @Gefreiter

    How does shadowbanning work at Unz.com?

    • Replies: @Grace Poole
  15. Anon[216] • Disclaimer says:
    @libertardian

    Why the archivist project, when it’s clearly the daily news angle that interests us.

    Why is the habit of calling oneself “us” so common?

    • Replies: @libertardian
  16. @Dieter Kief

    If he was working for someone else, he had to use his skills to serve their goals or quit. It’s like when people try to blame salespeople for various economic downslides. The salespeople————a group often living on straight commission with no benefits or, if they have a salary, under intense pressure to meet quotas or lose their means to keep a roof over their heads————should have said, h*** no, we won’t do it. If you’re rich enough to cover your bills between jobs, you have the option. Otherwise, you have the option to sleep under a bridge.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  17. Ron, I was particularly interested in your description of your software company sold to Moody’s. I had read a bit somewhere about your company that sounded like it had something to do with securitization. Thank you for clarifying somewhat what the software could accomplish. I did an interview many years ago in Paris with Max Keiser who developed stock trading software that was sold to Cantor Fitzgerald (the details escape me now) and it was used for purposes other than what he intended. Anyway, I was struck by the comparison. I am reminded of the scene in The Big Short when one of the protagonists is interviewing a principal at one of the rating agencies who basically admits that they were giving A+ ratings essentially to junk. As I’ve produced quite a few radio shows in the past having to do with market crashes, the subprime, mortgage fraud, etc., I find this subject quite interesting and important.

    I was also glad to hear you mention The Saturday Review. I hadn’t heard anything about that periodical in many years. My aunt Margaret was a subscriber for as long as I can remember, and she also would successfully complete their impossible Double-Crostics. I see you even have the Double-Crostics archived. I can’t even begin to imagine how much work you’ve done to create and preserve these archives. Amazing!

  18. @Gefreiter

    I’ve read countless comments here about the “malicious actions of organised Jewry”, ranging from the plausible to the crazy. Not so much about Freemasonry, although the Milner/Rhodes group gets mentioned sometimes.

  19. @James N. Kennett

    There are two manners a group can earn, and hold, power over other groups.

    1) By being like those other groups — possessed of the same attributes but to a further degree

    2) By physical coercion

    In the cases at issue in the comments here, 2) is to be criss-crossed, and 1) only is left.
    But people know themselves only little — thus when they see their imagine reflected in the elite (just enlarged), they think they are in the presence of strangers — contemptible strangers at that.

    It’s the same with the army of “I am looking for a honest guy, why are they so impossible to find and is everybody a player?” stock female profile on dating sites. Think how far they are from the consciousness that they have consistently rejected, are rejecting, and will keep consistently rejecting, exactly the honest guys that they tell themselves they are in search of, thus eventually also ejecting them from the dating pool, and that said pool is nothing but a reflection of the females’ unconscious, yet regular and quite fixed, preferences.
    Is it full of “players” “fuckboys” and “cheaters”? Indeed, it is.
    They cut off any contact and conversation upon the man saying the first honest thing, so…

  20. I will move a few comments over from Steve Sailer’s quick post on the interview to here.

    1)

    From the transcript:

    So you know, I would say well, you run this scenario, that security’s worth a great deal of money, while if you run this other scenario it’s totally worthless, and it just isn’t clear to me how you can really predict what would happen. And they would always then respond oh no, we have a research department, we pay them millions of dollars a year and they predict what will happen to default rates and interest rates and prepayment rates. So you know, you don’t worry about that…

    Haha, that reminds me of a personal story about people who get into lots of details but with some really vague-ass assumptions going in. I was at a seminar about exercising company-type stock options one time, and about how keep the taxes lowest, etc… The thing is, this internet company during the dot-com 1.0 era had stock that could have gone all over the place, up by 200% or down by 75%, in a couple year period, the time-line for which these “smart investment advisors” were teaching about.

    After about an hour and a half of this investment/tax advise, I raised my hand “What stock-price increase are you basing this tax advise on, I mean, do you have different scenarios depending on what the stock might do?” “Nope, we base it on an increase of 10% yearly.” I hope I didn’t say “oh, shit” out loud, but that was my thought, and I spent the rest of the time daydreaming. I was getting paid a salary anyhow …

  21. 2)

    I am very surprised about your generosity in your words about the media. This is regarding the last 1/3 or so of the transcript. You used phrases like “no confidence in the media” and “not reliable”. I guess because this this podcast may have more listens and reads, but this isn’t the Ron Unz I read here and in the comments. Maybe those words could be accurate for the media of a century ago, and maybe not still, but I know about them today.

    The modern legacy media are liars and propagandists! It’s not that they are not “reliable” enough and just make too many mistakes, and it’s not that I don’t have confidence in them. I see through their lies, and I don’t like lies, so I opt out.

    How come you were so nice on there, Ron?

  22. 3)

    Mr. Unz, I have a serious question after getting to a certain point in this podcast interview*. How much real higher math did you all use in making those securities forecasting programs? Calculus, diff-eqs, matrix math, real analysis**, what? I’m wondering why they needed guys with the super-high IQ or, even if that makes sense, why physicists/math guys over some mech/electrical engineers who had a knack of programming on the side.

    Secondly, did you feel at all that you were wasting your physics skills doing that stuff (I understand your goal was to make a tidy sum to help you do what you wanted later)?

    .

    * got through 11 1/2 min listening, and nothing wrong with that, but now I’m reading and it’s > 5 times faster, as Mr. Sailer and I mentioned in some other thread.

    ** I really neither know what that is, nor care at this point, but I know it’s somewhat “higher” math than what I’ve taken, back in the day.

    • Replies: @Ron Unz
  23. @Anon

    “Nosism”

    I was referring to the general readership, implying that barely anyone cares about the pdfs of yesteryear’s newspapers.

    • Replies: @Anon
  24. Nerd Che says:

    Ronzilla is a force of nature, but not because he bends spoons with the sheer power of his mind. He has that mischievous streak like Aaron Schwarz, with a better instinct for self-preservation.

    His Harvard stunt was enormously subversive. What would make it revolutionary is a rationale based on the state repression it attacks. Harvard’s stingy exaction of tuition may look like quirky temperamental cheapness, but it’s not. Harvard has reasons for extracting unneeded tuition. They have decided to contain the threat of an educated public with debt peonage. It is US government policy to use your human right to education as bait for the debt hook. That policy was the state’s response to the spontaneous cultural efflorescence of the 60s opposing war and commercial predation. Education debt is uniquely impossible to expunge. With the subject population saddled with fixed expenses that compound throughout any loss of income, critical thinking is easy to repress with implicit threats of termination.

  25. Alfa158 says:
    @Felix Krull

    For adults a perfect score is around 194. However for children, their age is factored in, so a perfect score would be multiplied by an age factor and you can get a number as high as around 240. A Ron Unz in middle school could indeed have been measured at 214.
    The max numbers are somewhat imprecise because they are arrived at by analyzing the accumulated test results, and calculating where a perfect score lands on the distribution curve. That in turn is based on the simplification that IQ falls on a mathematically idealized model of a Gaussian distribution where each standard deviation (sigma) from an average of 100 is 15 points. Real test results indicate that is not quite correct, but it facilitates mathematical analysis and is close enough for government work. 190 puts you at the famous “six sigma” value which is the, effectively, zero defects target used in manufacturing.

  26. @Endgame Napoleon

    That’s a tough argument, and good stuff from both you and Dieter. At the level of Mr. Unz’s job, I lean toward figuring he was just writing software to let these money-men do what they wanted with it. The software wasn’t particularly enabling of the complete screwage done in the house-loan market (loaning 3% down loans to Mexican $8/hr gardeners for $400,000 McMansions, and such …) and the bank bailouts and such. It was just a tool that, I suppose, could have been used quite legitimately.

    What I think a much more pervasive problem is generally American’s terrible ways of dealing with money, living paycheck-to-paycheck ( more here), even when they do make a very decent middle-class living. I know plenty like this. The problem is that this is a much larger group of people, and they have to kiss-ass to the ctrl-left, HR bitches, and everyone else who may work at evil purposes or just push the left-wing stupidity on them. There is no chance to stand up, when you have only one month’s living expenses in the bank, and you will be selling a car after 2 months. If you have 2 years’ savings in the bank, it’d be a lot easy to tell some nutbag lefty boss to kiss your ass. In the meantime, you just don’t put up with the crap.

    • Replies: @anon
    , @Alden
  27. @Anon

    yeah, do tell Gefreiter.
    no comment of mine has ever been rendered invisible on Unz.com

  28. Ron Unz says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    Mr. Unz, I have a serious question after getting to a certain point in this podcast interview*. How much real higher math did you all use in making those securities forecasting programs? Calculus, diff-eqs, matrix math, real analysis**, what? I’m wondering why they needed guys with the super-high IQ or, even if that makes sense, why physicists/math guys over some mech/electrical engineers who had a knack of programming on the side.

    Actually, just algebra plus maybe a little Linear Programming. Virtually all the time and effort was spent producing a very flexible and user-friendly software system that traders could use to model very complex securities. In fact, I even created an interpreted programming language to handle the most intricate ones.

    All the higher math, along with Monte Carlo simulations, was mostly used by the separate MBS Research groups to predict interest rates, default rates, and prepayment rates. It always seemed like nonsense to me and I (politely) told them so, with periodic MBS crashes, including the final, big one of 2008 tending to confirm my opinion.

    Secondly, did you feel at all that you were wasting your physics skills doing that stuff (I understand your goal was to make a tidy sum to help you do what you wanted later)?

    Certainly, and that’s why I left as quickly as I reasonably could, though it took much longer than I’d originally expected. Plus Theoretical Physics was going through it’s own Great Depression around then, and 90-95% of all the people I’d known in grad school left as well, even including some of the faculty members.

    And here’s a short article I once wrote describing the circumstances behind the very unexpected shift in my personal trajectory:

    http://www.unz.com/runz/no-quotas-no-elite-public-high-school/

    P.S. Thanks for pointing me to the Steve Sailer thread. I addressed some additional issues over there:

    http://www.unz.com/isteve/hsu-unz/#comment-3223837

    • Replies: @Anon
  29. Anon[193] • Disclaimer says:
    @libertardian

    The archival endeavour is an effort done for the ones that don’t belong in “barely anyone” exactly.

  30. Anon[193] • Disclaimer says:
    @Ron Unz

    The crashes could be due to confirmation bias…
    We can’t know how many of the predictions are driven only by computing and “scientific” methods, and unaffected by different pressures.

  31. IBGYBG says:

    That’s a good question from Achmed. M. Unz, was the underlying model a Gaussian copula? And did the users generally understand that any option model is interpolation of past data and not prediction? Seems the technical details are a critical and underappreciated part what Bill Black calls the greatest financial crime in history.

  32. Ron Unz says:

    BTW, I just remembered that back in 2014, Slate had done a nice article about my Minimum Wage project, and I’d told them the same funny story about my mortgage security software:

    It’s a tool, like the software he developed, the stuff that allowed quants to chop up mortgages into securities.

    “Frankly, I used to always tell all my Wall Street clients that all my software did was to produce financial outputs based on the inputs they themselves provided, and I just couldn’t see how anyone could ever predict the correct inputs,” says Unz. “They said: Don’t worry about that—we’re paying millions of dollars to all these research experts to decide what the correct inputs should be. I told them I was pretty skeptical about that, but I supposed it was their business.”

    https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2014/01/ron-unz-the-california-libertarian-multimillionaire-is-pushing-a-minimum-wage-hike.html

  33. @James N. Kennett

    I’ve read countless comments here about the “malicious actions of organised Jewry”, ranging from the plausible to the crazy.

    Got to point out, though I really shouldn’t have to – I don’t give a rat’s ass whether the comments – or the reasonings behind them – are “plausible” or “crazy” – to you, or to anyone else. What matters – the only thing that matters – is whether or not they are true.

    • Replies: @James N. Kennett
  34. @Ron Unz

    A front organization is any entity set up by and controlled by another organization – many organized crime operations have substantial legitimate businesses. We know the CIA wouldn’t use the Peace Corps to crash the economy to fund the “war effort” so maybe it was communists on Wall Street?

  35. Thanks for posting a transcript. For those of us who can’t watch (or can’t tolerate) lengthy videos, it’s a godsend.

    • Agree: atlantis_dweller
  36. @Ron Unz

    An IQ of 214. That’s really amazing. My IQ is somewhere in the vicinity of 123 and 133.

    I asked God for that one gift He could bestow to me. I could have asked God to make me super smart, super handsome, born into wealth, super strong but I asked God to give me a photographic memory. I figured it would be easy for me to pass required subjects in schools as I would just have to recall all information that I had read/perused.

    Instead God misheard me and instead gave me a Pornographic Memory.

    And That’s where my troubles started. Okay start the laugh track!

    • LOL: Alden
  37. @Dave Bowman

    What matters – the only thing that matters – is whether or not they are true.

    Another thing that matters is whether it is possible to discuss such things. Occasionally Ron Unz mentions that he does not agree with comments or even articles on this site – but he still publishes them. The MSM no longer offers this opportunity. It is vital that we should be able to discuss ideas that many people believe to be false, because the alternative is that publishers act as gatekeepers for ideas.

    • Agree: Achmed E. Newman
    • Replies: @anon
  38. Look at this video I found of Ron Unz running around drunk and naked as a jay bird. He claimed to be the handsome country music star Randy Travis and the cops bought it. Shameless.

  39. RW says:

    Ron, do you realize comments have been disabled on that Youtube interview with Hsu that you linked to? What possible reason?

    • Replies: @res
  40. res says:
    @RW

    Comments are disabled on the other Manifold videos I looked at as well. Probably just their policy.

  41. anon[253] • Disclaimer says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    What I think a much more pervasive problem is generally American’s terrible ways of dealing with money, living paycheck-to-paycheck ( more here), even when they do make a very decent middle-class living.

    this is thanks to the advertising they’re exposed to on a continual basis

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    , @Alden
  42. anon[253] • Disclaimer says:
    @James N. Kennett

    The MSM no longer offers this opportunity. It is vital that we should be able to discuss ideas that many people believe to be false, because the alternative is that publishers act as gatekeepers for ideas.

    when i see how desperate they are to shut down Free Speech online then i start to wonder how long we’ve been subjected to outright one-sided propaganda from the MSM

  43. @anon

    Sure, but nobody’s got a gun to their heads … yet. If they don’t think for themselves, they deserve what’s coming, but the rest of us being dragged down with them DO NOT.

  44. Alden says:
    @Gefreiter

    The Hungarian Rabbi Michael Dov Mandelbaum was like, a chief Rabbi of a huge tribe of Hungarian and other E European Jews> His was position similar to a medieval Bishop spiritual and secular ruler. He pretty much had the same opinion as Ron has. Mandelbaum focused equally on Jewish communist take over of Europe, Israel and Jews as much as he focused his ire on the zionists practically kidnapping the children of his people and raising them on communist atheist kibbutzes.

    Mandelbaum’s a little extreme. He was not at all appreciative of the soviet union that took in his people who fled east. Apparently the glatt kosher cuisine was not all that was expected. Plus the Israeli zionists were working closely with stalin at the time. Mandelbaum hated communism and zionism equally. His book has disappeared from the university library where I read it. But he was there during the war and establishment of Israel; a grown Rabbi and chief of his tribe of maybe 60,000k jews and his opinion is similar to Ron’s

  45. Alden says:
    @anon

    We never lived paycheck to paycheck. 60 years ago you could blame over extension on impulse buying of STUFF. 60 years ago, 50 45 years ago, STUFF was expensive but the basic cost of housing, utilities, food gas, cars, car repairs was cheap.

    Now however, STUFF is very cheap due to chinese imports, but the basic cost offood housing, utilities, gas, cars, car repairs are very expensive.

    That’s one thing I find weird about conservationism They never seem to connect with reality.

  46. Alden says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    It’s not 1970 anymore when food, housing, utilities, property taxes, gas, cars, car repairs bus fare and other necessities were cheap in relation to STUFF. STUFF was expensive then. But it’s 50 years on and now STUFF or chinese crap on credit cards is cheap, cheap, cheap. And necessities are EXPENSIVE EXPENSIVE EXPENSIVE.

    Clothing, hardware, tools and plants, and living spaces furniture are actually cheaper than they were in 1970. I don’t mean in relation to inflation. I mean cheaper in dollar amounts. The only thing more expensive is paint. I’ve never been to living spaces. But I see it’s ads on TV all the time.Their furniture is incredibly cheap. And Home Depot and Lowe’s are cheaper in dollars than building supplies were 50 years ago.

    So it’s not buying cheap chinese crap on credit cards. It’s buying food, housing and transportation to work.

    We had a down payment of 40 percent on our first house. Why? Because back in the olden days it was possible for a very young middle class couple. All of the couples we knew owned their first house in the expensive Bay Area near San Francisco before they were 30. Some bought houses in Marin county within 2 months of their marriage. Nobody was considered “rich”, just ordinary well paid jobs.

    Get real about wages and the cost of the necessities of life.

    • Agree: Ron Unz
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