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Not such a fine sight to see: *

One of my commenters has mentioned how his hometown, Prescott, AZ, has recently filled up with drug treatment clinics and their clients. Prescott in central Arizona is at a mile-high elevation, so it has particularly nice weather. Now the NYT has the full story:

City of Addict Entrepreneurs

The drug crisis has turned countless recovered addicts into businesspeople: They
get clean, open their own clinics, and sometimes take over the neighborhood.

By DAVID SEGAL

… With an abundance of sun and pleasant weather year-round, Prescott first became a healing destination in the early 1900s, welcoming tuberculosis patients. Addiction treatment took off here after the passage of the 2008 Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, the law that put substance abuse treatment on the same footing as other medical benefits. In 2010, the Affordable Care Act mandated that plans on its exchanges offer substance abuse benefits.

Suddenly, millions of adults were insured and the population of people seeking treatment ballooned. Among the first to notice were the former addicts who had come to Prescott for treatment. Many of them stayed in town to start their own clinics, which produced more former patients with the same idea, repeating the cycle.

* This is a reference, of course, to the famous “Arizona”-rhyming song from almost 50 years ago by the Eagles: “Get Back.”

@JD_Hoggg adds:

It’s a bum, my Lord,
Gettin off his cardboard,
Standing up to take another pee

As Tony Bennett or perhaps Bobby Troup sang:

I left my heart in Flagstaff, Arizona.
Don’t forget Winona,
Kingman, Barstow, San Bernardino.

 
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  1. It’s really something how these journalists are so cut off from yeoman productivity that they incapable of relating to any form of economy not based on finance, virtue signaling, identity, entertainment, or end-user communication tech

    Read More
    • Agree: Sunbeam
    • Replies: @J.Ross
    This, there was a terrifying NPR piece on rural white suicide, blathering on and on about reaching out to the people for whom NPR spends every other minute of broadcast time wishing death. The solution was agreed to be getting folks into government systems where they would spend a lot of time talking about themselves to strangers.
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  2. Anonymous[400] • Disclaimer says:

    Sounds kind of like Amway style multi-level marketing.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman

    Sounds kind of like Amway style multi-level marketing.
     
    Yeah, but at least it's not a pyramid scheme.

    I can see where this has potential: "For every 3 new people that you get addicted to meth, or 2 people on Oxycontin, you will earn 10 DrugWay points. 100 points can be cashed in for a 2 lb. bag of week, 2 oz. of cocaine, or a week's stay at any Holiday Inn Express property (blackout locations may apply in drug deserts.)"
    , @International Jew
    Except, in reverse.
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  3. I read the article when it came out.

    On the bright side, it shows that scamming medicare/medicaid/employer insurance, something normally done by immigrant entrepreneurs, turns out to be a job American proles are willing to do.

    Read More
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  4. The moralists like to abjure
    That addiction means ruin. I’m sure
    Getting on and off drugs
    Is much better than hugs
    As a genuine poverty cure.

    Read More
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  5. Ya know, it’s almost as if when you feed something it grows.

    Read More
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  6. I’ve never taken an Economics class in my life, but doesn’t the work of a drug addiction clinic count toward the GDP?

    So the more drug addicts America has, the higher our GDP numbers and the stronger our economy and per capita income looks in international rankings compared with its Chinese and Russian competitors…

    I think various famous economists have similarly pointed out that huge natural disasters or gigantic waves of arson fires are also big boosts to the GDP…

    Read More
    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
    Obviously not taking econ classes didn't hurt you.

    All kinds of things count toward GDP, which is why the GDP of the US is not anything like that of real producers like China. Not any more. We produce drug addicts/rehab; they produce steel.

    , @Alec Leamas (hard at work)
    You've been reading your Krugman, haven't you Mr. Unz?

    Until we get that hostile alien invasion Krugman is pining after, we're just going to have to bide our time with crashpads for opiate addicts from several states away.
    , @Anonymous

    I think various famous economists have similarly pointed out that huge natural disasters or gigantic waves of arson fires are also big boosts to the GDP…
     
    What a boon those hypersonic Russian nukes will be!
    , @Anon
    Krugman is such a clueless Keynsian he was hoping for an alien invasion so GDP would be boosted from the reconstruction. These people are nuts, go Von Mises!
    , @Thorfinnsson
    Treating drug addicts counts towards GDP, but I am not sure it increases GDP.

    The GDP equation is very simple:

    Consumption + Investment (spending for future production e.g. buying machine tools, not buying stocks) + Government Spending + Net Exports = GDP

    This treatment is paid for by medical insurance, which means that it's paid for by these groups of people:

    * Employers which purchase insurance at market rates
    * The government (mostly federal)
    * The small number of high income self-employed people who also purchase medical insurance at market rates

    The money that goes to drug treatment now would otherwise result in lower insurance rates and a smaller government deficit. The lower insurance rates would increase other forms of consumer spending, corporate profits, and possibly wages.

    A larger deficit does increase GDP.

    Getting addicted to drugs also tends to cause people to become less productive or drop out of the work force entirely. This has a negative impact on GDP.

    I suspect the lost productivity of drug addicts far outweighs the increased GDP from a slightly larger budget deficit.

    Also, getting drug addicts clean reduces the sales of drug dealers. I don't believe the BEA counts the black market in GDP, but some foreign countries try to do so. So getting clean lowers GDP...at least until you get a job. :)

    , @Lot

    huge natural disasters or gigantic waves of arson fires are also big boosts to the GDP ... the more drug addicts America has, the higher our GDP numbers and the stronger our economy
     
    You are getting at two issues. One is that GDP is not a perfect proxy for income, well-being, and wealth creation.

    The second is the interesting and well established paradox that virtually any government spending in an economy stuck in a depressed equilibrium (that is in the depths of a recession or depression) is a boost to the overall economy, even if poorly spent.

    To take your drug addiction example, treating hopeless addicts to no avail in 1933 would have put people to work who would be otherwise unemployed and raised their incomes, and their additional spending would have a strong multiplier as that additional spending fanned out and went to enourage the production and raise the incomes of farmers, shoemakers, homebuilders, etc.

    This would not be the case now in our near full employment economy, since the addict treatment would not use idle resources, but reallocate labor from more productive uses.

    It isn't an argument for wasteful spending in a recession, it is always better to spend government funds on useful things, but that completely useless spending in such circumstances is better than no spending at all.
    , @Anonymous

    I’ve never taken an Economics class in my life, but doesn’t the work of a drug addiction clinic count toward the GDP?
     
    Sure---but so would any other final goods produced instead of drug addiction treatment using the same factors of production. Furthermore, contra this:

    So the more drug addicts America has, the higher our GDP numbers and the stronger our economy and per capita income looks in international rankings compared with its Chinese and Russian competitors…
     
    Drug addicts being high, dead or in treatment rather than in the labor force lowers the Gross Domestic Product relative to what it would be if they were working.
    , @Bernardo Pizzaro Cortez Del Castro
    Natural disasters tend to destroy assets and wealth , but spending to rebuild destroyed homes and roads appears to increase GDP with money which is borrowed from Asians and we end up with a larger debt while we pay interest to the Japanese and Chinese. when my home was damaged from hurricane Sandy we were forced to spend money we had saved to buy a new car to pay the workers to fix our house, So one less car was sold in America which may have added less to the GDP than using the $25,000 to fix our house.
    , @27 year old
    GDP is fake news
    , @jimmyriddle
    Also, divorce.

    Anything that leads to money changing hands is good for GDP.

    , @FPD72
    French economist Frédéric Bastiat explained this phenomenon in 1850. It’s referred to as the broken windows fallacy. Bastiat described how there can be economic activity that increases what today we refer to as GDP but does not result in aggregate economic well being.

    A recent example is the hurricane and massive flooding in Houston. A lot of economic activity for contractors, manufacturers, etc. but all to only get people back to where they were in material terms before the storm. To the degree that remediation is paid for by insurance or government, it’s a net drain on the rest of the country. Insurance? My rates are going up in Austin for both homeowners and auto insurance. Government? Either more taxes, more deficit, or shifting of spending from other activities.
    , @John Derbyshire, @International Jew
    Ron, read up on the "broken window fallacy", and let that be your first lesson in economics.
    , @Reg Cæsar

    I’ve never taken an Economics class in my life, but doesn’t the work of a drug addiction clinic count toward the GDP?
     
    Sure it does, if by "GDP" you mean "god damn pusher man".

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3XqyGoE2Q4Y
    , @D. K.
    OT:

    Our respective comment histories now are keeping up to date-- after remaining static, since their restoration on the 11th-- but they also now are displaying both our respective e-mail addresses and our recorded IP addresses for everyone else to see! I find this turn of events somewhat disturbing, Mr. Unz.
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  7. I’ve always been in conflict about drug legalization. On the one hand, I think the drug war has been a foot in the door to violate civil liberties and has forced people into the prison system for something that ostensibly only harms themselves (and once you’re in, its hard to get out). On the other hand, addiction leads to things like this where the state inevitably ends up with the responsibility of caring for addicts. The libertarian argument of drugs being a voluntary transaction between parties falls apart when the product takes a hold of one party’s physiology. The compromise that I come up with in my mind is that drugs should be legalized but the cost of treating addicts should fall on the companies that sell them (via tax or some sort of legal mechanism where the company is fined for the cost of every addict’s treatment). Course that would likely lead to the same underground market that currently exists and possibly opens a can of worms for fast food/soda companies and fat people or beer companies and drunk drivers. Really don’t know how you solve it.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Macumazahn
    I know one way to solve it - leave the addicts to their own devices.
    They'd happily kill themselves off, if only we'd let them.
    But no, now we're being told that we should all carry and administer naloxone.
    http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/priorities/opioid-overdose-prevention/naloxone-advisory.html
    Sorry, Doc Adams, but treating people who suffer from "an opioid use disorder" isn't my responsibility.
    , @Karl
    7 Senator Brundlefly > libertarian argument of drugs being a voluntary transaction between parties falls apart when the product takes a hold of one party’s physiology. The compromise that I come up with in my mind is that drugs should be legalized but the cost of treating addicts should fall on the companies that sell them


    so, what about coffee? It is a stronger addictant than most opioids
    , @Clifford Brown

    I’ve always been in conflict about drug legalization.... The libertarian argument of drugs being a voluntary transaction between parties falls apart when the product takes a hold of one party’s physiology.
     
    Once addiction enters the picture, the drug trade is not a voluntary transaction. The libertarian fundamental assumption of rational individuals is flawed. Humans are neither rational, nor individuals. We are part of a complex society where people's actions are driven by many reasons, most of which are not rational. If a significant portion of your society becomes addicted to heroin (an irrational decision), best of luck having a law abiding, wealthy society.

    All libertarian premises only work in a high functioning, law abiding society.

    The compromise that I come up with in my mind...
     
    Libertarianism in a nutshell. It's all in your head, pal.

    Really don’t know how you solve it.
     
    See Singapore.
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  8. @Ron Unz
    I've never taken an Economics class in my life, but doesn't the work of a drug addiction clinic count toward the GDP?

    So the more drug addicts America has, the higher our GDP numbers and the stronger our economy and per capita income looks in international rankings compared with its Chinese and Russian competitors...

    I think various famous economists have similarly pointed out that huge natural disasters or gigantic waves of arson fires are also big boosts to the GDP...

    Obviously not taking econ classes didn’t hurt you.

    All kinds of things count toward GDP, which is why the GDP of the US is not anything like that of real producers like China. Not any more. We produce drug addicts/rehab; they produce steel.

    Read More
    • Replies: @tyrone
    another reason not to be jonesing for a war …… our dope addicts against their steel mills,we may get a big surprise.
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  9. @Ron Unz
    I've never taken an Economics class in my life, but doesn't the work of a drug addiction clinic count toward the GDP?

    So the more drug addicts America has, the higher our GDP numbers and the stronger our economy and per capita income looks in international rankings compared with its Chinese and Russian competitors...

    I think various famous economists have similarly pointed out that huge natural disasters or gigantic waves of arson fires are also big boosts to the GDP...

    You’ve been reading your Krugman, haven’t you Mr. Unz?

    Until we get that hostile alien invasion Krugman is pining after, we’re just going to have to bide our time with crashpads for opiate addicts from several states away.

    Read More
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  10. Alcohol and drug treatment scams are RPPs. Riot Prevention Payments. The Social Security disability scam is bigger than the alcohol and drug treatment scams. The Finance/Insurance/Real Estate sector scams are much bigger than both of those combined.

    Sam Francis would have called it the result of the managerial-therapeutic state.

    Yearly federal government budget deficits heading for one trillion dollars. Total federal government debt is 21.1 trillion dollars. Add in debt at all levels of government and unfunded obligations and you’re looking at 210 trillion dollars.

    The American Empire is bankrupt. China has similar debt problems to the American Empire.

    Read More
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  11. Anonymous[196] • Disclaimer says:
    @Ron Unz
    I've never taken an Economics class in my life, but doesn't the work of a drug addiction clinic count toward the GDP?

    So the more drug addicts America has, the higher our GDP numbers and the stronger our economy and per capita income looks in international rankings compared with its Chinese and Russian competitors...

    I think various famous economists have similarly pointed out that huge natural disasters or gigantic waves of arson fires are also big boosts to the GDP...

    I think various famous economists have similarly pointed out that huge natural disasters or gigantic waves of arson fires are also big boosts to the GDP…

    What a boon those hypersonic Russian nukes will be!

    Read More
    • Agree: Ron Unz
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  12. @Ron Unz
    I've never taken an Economics class in my life, but doesn't the work of a drug addiction clinic count toward the GDP?

    So the more drug addicts America has, the higher our GDP numbers and the stronger our economy and per capita income looks in international rankings compared with its Chinese and Russian competitors...

    I think various famous economists have similarly pointed out that huge natural disasters or gigantic waves of arson fires are also big boosts to the GDP...

    Krugman is such a clueless Keynsian he was hoping for an alien invasion so GDP would be boosted from the reconstruction. These people are nuts, go Von Mises!

    Read More
    • Replies: @Clyde

    Krugman is such a clueless Keynsian he was hoping for an alien invasion so GDP would be boosted from the reconstruction. These people are nuts, go Von Mises!
     
    Think about it! We can increase our GDP by almost 100 billion if we move (immigrate) everyone from Honduras and Guatemala into the United States. Plus we instantly get millions of low cost cannon fodder for wars in Syria etc.. Get Paul Krugman on this!

    Honduras
    Population: 9.11 million (2016)
    GDP: $21.79 billion USD (2017)
    Guatemala
    Population: 16.58 million (2016)
    GDP: $74.60 billion USD (2018)

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  13. When I have occasion to watch television, I’m amazed at the number of ads that say (in essence), “If you have insurance we can exploit, call now!”

    Read More
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  14. @Buzz Mohawk
    Obviously not taking econ classes didn't hurt you.

    All kinds of things count toward GDP, which is why the GDP of the US is not anything like that of real producers like China. Not any more. We produce drug addicts/rehab; they produce steel.

    another reason not to be jonesing for a war …… our dope addicts against their steel mills,we may get a big surprise.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  15. @Ron Unz
    I've never taken an Economics class in my life, but doesn't the work of a drug addiction clinic count toward the GDP?

    So the more drug addicts America has, the higher our GDP numbers and the stronger our economy and per capita income looks in international rankings compared with its Chinese and Russian competitors...

    I think various famous economists have similarly pointed out that huge natural disasters or gigantic waves of arson fires are also big boosts to the GDP...

    Treating drug addicts counts towards GDP, but I am not sure it increases GDP.

    The GDP equation is very simple:

    Consumption + Investment (spending for future production e.g. buying machine tools, not buying stocks) + Government Spending + Net Exports = GDP

    This treatment is paid for by medical insurance, which means that it’s paid for by these groups of people:

    * Employers which purchase insurance at market rates
    * The government (mostly federal)
    * The small number of high income self-employed people who also purchase medical insurance at market rates

    The money that goes to drug treatment now would otherwise result in lower insurance rates and a smaller government deficit. The lower insurance rates would increase other forms of consumer spending, corporate profits, and possibly wages.

    A larger deficit does increase GDP.

    Getting addicted to drugs also tends to cause people to become less productive or drop out of the work force entirely. This has a negative impact on GDP.

    I suspect the lost productivity of drug addicts far outweighs the increased GDP from a slightly larger budget deficit.

    Also, getting drug addicts clean reduces the sales of drug dealers. I don’t believe the BEA counts the black market in GDP, but some foreign countries try to do so. So getting clean lowers GDP…at least until you get a job. :)

    Read More
    • Replies: @Ron Unz

    Treating drug addicts counts towards GDP, but I am not sure it increases GDP....Getting addicted to drugs also tends to cause people to become less productive or drop out of the work force entirely. This has a negative impact on GDP.
     
    Absolutely true. I was really just being a little facetious on the topic, and on the flaws of the GDP metric.

    But wouldn't one solution to the problem be to just rehabilitate current drug addicts by hiring them to counsel other current drug addicts at those drug rehabilitation centers? And if their salaries are high, then isn't their "productivity" automatically high, based on the definition of a service-industry job?

    If Drug Addict A is gainfully employed at a fairly high salary to counsel Drug Addict B (and vice-versa), then aren't both of them substantially contributing to our national per capita GDP and thus our excellent standard of living? Isn't that one of the significant flaws in the GDP calculation?

    I think the classic case is that when mothers look after their own children at home, they contribute nothing to GDP. But if they merely swap their children with their neighbors' children on a equal-paid daycare basis, they can then very substantially boost the GDP generated by every family in the country...
    , @anonymous coward

    The GDP equation is very simple:

    Consumption + Investment (spending for future production e.g. buying machine tools, not buying stocks) + Government Spending + Net Exports = GDP
     
    It's simpler than that. GDP = Debt.

    (Since all money is debt anyways.)
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  16. @Senator Brundlefly
    I've always been in conflict about drug legalization. On the one hand, I think the drug war has been a foot in the door to violate civil liberties and has forced people into the prison system for something that ostensibly only harms themselves (and once you're in, its hard to get out). On the other hand, addiction leads to things like this where the state inevitably ends up with the responsibility of caring for addicts. The libertarian argument of drugs being a voluntary transaction between parties falls apart when the product takes a hold of one party's physiology. The compromise that I come up with in my mind is that drugs should be legalized but the cost of treating addicts should fall on the companies that sell them (via tax or some sort of legal mechanism where the company is fined for the cost of every addict's treatment). Course that would likely lead to the same underground market that currently exists and possibly opens a can of worms for fast food/soda companies and fat people or beer companies and drunk drivers. Really don't know how you solve it.

    I know one way to solve it – leave the addicts to their own devices.
    They’d happily kill themselves off, if only we’d let them.
    But no, now we’re being told that we should all carry and administer naloxone.

    http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/priorities/opioid-overdose-prevention/naloxone-advisory.html

    Sorry, Doc Adams, but treating people who suffer from “an opioid use disorder” isn’t my responsibility.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Pericles
    Combined with Duterte style informal executions of drug dealers, in that case, including opioid pill mills and suchlike. Be creative. Don't forget to hang the Sacklers from their big university buildings.
    , @wrd9
    At one point I was musing whether the toxic amounts of Fentanyl added to drugs was an Obama Fed scheme. It would kill two birds with one stone - kill off white addicts and lower medical costs.
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  17. I was standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona, such a fine sight to see…” is from the classic Eagles song “Take it Easy“.

    Read More
    • Replies: @George
    Review of Standin' on the Corner Park in Winslow Arizona

    “Fast photo opp, hostile homeless men”
    https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g31411-d108840-r567108595-Standin_on_the_Corner_Park-Winslow_Arizona.html

    2008 Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, Was the transfer of homeless populations foreseen or foreseeable? Was it written into the act by sharps?
    , @Paul Jolliffe
    Yup - maybe Steve has got a load of trouble on his mind.
    (Of course, it was "Jojo" who left his home in Tucson Arizona, for some California grass . . .)
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  18. @Ron Unz
    I've never taken an Economics class in my life, but doesn't the work of a drug addiction clinic count toward the GDP?

    So the more drug addicts America has, the higher our GDP numbers and the stronger our economy and per capita income looks in international rankings compared with its Chinese and Russian competitors...

    I think various famous economists have similarly pointed out that huge natural disasters or gigantic waves of arson fires are also big boosts to the GDP...

    huge natural disasters or gigantic waves of arson fires are also big boosts to the GDP … the more drug addicts America has, the higher our GDP numbers and the stronger our economy

    You are getting at two issues. One is that GDP is not a perfect proxy for income, well-being, and wealth creation.

    The second is the interesting and well established paradox that virtually any government spending in an economy stuck in a depressed equilibrium (that is in the depths of a recession or depression) is a boost to the overall economy, even if poorly spent.

    To take your drug addiction example, treating hopeless addicts to no avail in 1933 would have put people to work who would be otherwise unemployed and raised their incomes, and their additional spending would have a strong multiplier as that additional spending fanned out and went to enourage the production and raise the incomes of farmers, shoemakers, homebuilders, etc.

    This would not be the case now in our near full employment economy, since the addict treatment would not use idle resources, but reallocate labor from more productive uses.

    It isn’t an argument for wasteful spending in a recession, it is always better to spend government funds on useful things, but that completely useless spending in such circumstances is better than no spending at all.

    Read More
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  19. Anonymous[679] • Disclaimer says:
    @Ron Unz
    I've never taken an Economics class in my life, but doesn't the work of a drug addiction clinic count toward the GDP?

    So the more drug addicts America has, the higher our GDP numbers and the stronger our economy and per capita income looks in international rankings compared with its Chinese and Russian competitors...

    I think various famous economists have similarly pointed out that huge natural disasters or gigantic waves of arson fires are also big boosts to the GDP...

    I’ve never taken an Economics class in my life, but doesn’t the work of a drug addiction clinic count toward the GDP?

    Sure—but so would any other final goods produced instead of drug addiction treatment using the same factors of production. Furthermore, contra this:

    So the more drug addicts America has, the higher our GDP numbers and the stronger our economy and per capita income looks in international rankings compared with its Chinese and Russian competitors…

    Drug addicts being high, dead or in treatment rather than in the labor force lowers the Gross Domestic Product relative to what it would be if they were working.

    Read More
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  20. @yaqub the mad scientist
    It's really something how these journalists are so cut off from yeoman productivity that they incapable of relating to any form of economy not based on finance, virtue signaling, identity, entertainment, or end-user communication tech

    This, there was a terrifying NPR piece on rural white suicide, blathering on and on about reaching out to the people for whom NPR spends every other minute of broadcast time wishing death. The solution was agreed to be getting folks into government systems where they would spend a lot of time talking about themselves to strangers.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anon
    Who believes NPR or the rest of the liberal Jew anti White media? Only brainwashed, naive credulous liberals.
    If NPR PBS Washington post NYTimes
    MSNBC claimed Oregon is on the pacific west coast and Maine on the Atlantic, I’d check a map before I’d believe the story.
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  21. @Senator Brundlefly
    I've always been in conflict about drug legalization. On the one hand, I think the drug war has been a foot in the door to violate civil liberties and has forced people into the prison system for something that ostensibly only harms themselves (and once you're in, its hard to get out). On the other hand, addiction leads to things like this where the state inevitably ends up with the responsibility of caring for addicts. The libertarian argument of drugs being a voluntary transaction between parties falls apart when the product takes a hold of one party's physiology. The compromise that I come up with in my mind is that drugs should be legalized but the cost of treating addicts should fall on the companies that sell them (via tax or some sort of legal mechanism where the company is fined for the cost of every addict's treatment). Course that would likely lead to the same underground market that currently exists and possibly opens a can of worms for fast food/soda companies and fat people or beer companies and drunk drivers. Really don't know how you solve it.

    7 Senator Brundlefly > libertarian argument of drugs being a voluntary transaction between parties falls apart when the product takes a hold of one party’s physiology. The compromise that I come up with in my mind is that drugs should be legalized but the cost of treating addicts should fall on the companies that sell them

    so, what about coffee? It is a stronger addictant than most opioids

    Read More
    • Replies: @Hodag
    I quit smoking pretty easily. I tried quitting caffeine. Never, never, ever am I doing that again.
    , @Twodees Partain
    "so, what about coffee?"

    Yep, coffee is hard to kick. Still, I haven't seen a big problem around here with coffee addicts mugging grannies in order to pay for their coffee habits. Apples and cueballs, y'know? ;-)
    , @JMcG
    I quit caffeine a few years ago. I had a bad headache that worked it’s way from back to front over the course of three days. That was it. And I drank a LOT of coffee.
    , @El Dato

    so, what about coffee? It is a stronger addictant than most opioids
     
    Like, whatever.
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  22. anon[382] • Disclaimer says:

    (Strikethrough tag not allowed?)

    But there are few studies on the Florida Model’s law schools’ effectiveness. Many clinics schools claim that 80 to 90 percent of their graduates stay sober make over $50k per year within two years of graduation, although those statistics are commonly based on surveys of graduates and considered unreliable by academics. The main concern is that people who have relapsed not been successful are either hard to find — in which case they are not counted — or may be motivated to lie out of embarrassment.

    At least this was the case 10 years ago, I recall there was some talk of upping the reporting standards.

    It’s kind of amazing how much money can get thrown around, all justified on such frivolous BS. The Big One, of course, being mid-aught mortgage lending.

    This trend(?) seems indicative of a society in decline.

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    • Replies: @res

    (Strikethrough tag not allowed?)
     
    There are three variants: strike, del, s. http://xahlee.info/js/html_s_strike_del_html5.html
    Here is how they render in the comments:

    strike
    del
    s
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  23. @Ron Unz
    I've never taken an Economics class in my life, but doesn't the work of a drug addiction clinic count toward the GDP?

    So the more drug addicts America has, the higher our GDP numbers and the stronger our economy and per capita income looks in international rankings compared with its Chinese and Russian competitors...

    I think various famous economists have similarly pointed out that huge natural disasters or gigantic waves of arson fires are also big boosts to the GDP...

    Natural disasters tend to destroy assets and wealth , but spending to rebuild destroyed homes and roads appears to increase GDP with money which is borrowed from Asians and we end up with a larger debt while we pay interest to the Japanese and Chinese. when my home was damaged from hurricane Sandy we were forced to spend money we had saved to buy a new car to pay the workers to fix our house, So one less car was sold in America which may have added less to the GDP than using the $25,000 to fix our house.

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    • Replies: @International Jew
    Exactly. Anyone who thinks disasters are "good for GDP" has fallen for the "broken windows fallacy".
    , @Romanian
    Exactly. This is what Bastiat railed against - the broken window fallacy of economic growth, which ignores opportunity costs.
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  24. * This is a reference, of course, to the famous “Arizona”-rhyming song from almost 50 years ago by the Eagles: “Get Back.”

    Yes. Ah but: “Take It Easy” is the title.

    Jackson Browne (almost completely) wrote this song though, if – The Eagles’ Glenn Frey was right about all this:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/01/19/glenn-frey-is-dead-but-the-take-it-easy-corner-in-winslow-arizona-lives-on/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.fa69f1ff853f

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    These Eagles (is it "The Eagles" or just "Eagles"? I never can remember....) are, for the benefit of younger readers, not to be confused with "Eagles of Death Metal".

    Similarly, The Guess Who were no relation to The Who, nor, to The The.

    Glenn Frey , of The Eagles, (or the Eagles, whatever) was also a film and TV actor of fair talent-no Sir Alec Guinness, but okay. He played a talent agent on the old Ken Wahl series Wiseguy.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EoIY3Qm7VEU

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  25. Awwww, come on, man, I’ve had a rough night! And I HATE the fuckin’ Eagles, man!

    Read More
    • Agree: BenKenobi
    • Replies: @Charles Erwin Wilson II

    I HATE the fuckin’ Eagles, man!
     
    Rock version, or Country version, or both?
    , @The preferred nomenclature is...
    GET OUT!
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  26. Drug treatment does not work. It just makes the addict have a larger circle of drug friends.

    Read More
    • Replies: @George
    "Drug treatment does not work." OK, what works?
    , @Travis
    do you think Rush Limbaugh is still using opiates ?
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  27. @Karl
    7 Senator Brundlefly > libertarian argument of drugs being a voluntary transaction between parties falls apart when the product takes a hold of one party’s physiology. The compromise that I come up with in my mind is that drugs should be legalized but the cost of treating addicts should fall on the companies that sell them


    so, what about coffee? It is a stronger addictant than most opioids

    I quit smoking pretty easily. I tried quitting caffeine. Never, never, ever am I doing that again.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Same here. Quitting smoking wasn't that bad. Only felt bad for a day or two, although I did feel a bit depressed for a few days after. I had bought some Nicorette, but never had to use it. Quitting coffee was absolutely miserable. Felt terrible and was completely out of it for at least 2 weeks. Absolute torture.
    , @Anonymous
    Huh? You just sleep a lot. It's not actually unpleasant.
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  28. @Jim from Boston
    "I was standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona, such a fine sight to see..." is from the classic Eagles song "Take it Easy".

    Review of Standin’ on the Corner Park in Winslow Arizona

    “Fast photo opp, hostile homeless men”

    https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g31411-d108840-r567108595-Standin_on_the_Corner_Park-Winslow_Arizona.html

    2008 Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, Was the transfer of homeless populations foreseen or foreseeable? Was it written into the act by sharps?

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  29. @Hodag
    Drug treatment does not work. It just makes the addict have a larger circle of drug friends.

    “Drug treatment does not work.” OK, what works?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Hodag
    Very little. Religious conversion does the trick for some. Change in environment for others.
    , @Mishra
    Dirty little secret is that 12-step programs don't work either. I researched this to death once and came up with one thing that did work. The Betty Ford Treatment Center's program worked for one class of client, and one only. Airline pilots.

    Why? Because the airlines don't give you a third chance. And fourth, etc. Probably helps that pilots are more responsible people to begin with, but that's assigning agency which we dare not do nowadays when everything's addictive and everyone's a victim.

    , @Jack Hanson
    Changing the paradigm from recreational drug use being a "disease" versus a choice, thereby stripping all responsibility from the addict.

    Right now addiction treatment is a lot of "there there you poor thing" nonsense that addicts, who are some of the most narcissistic and sociopathic people I've ever run into don't need. Alternating bouts of "no one loves me and that's why I use" and "ONLY GOD CAN JUDGE" with sob story after sob story about their families turning their back on them. Its only later you find out about the trail of human wreckage in the junkie's wake tho.

    Personally, I think restricting Narcan heavily would be great. Right now you got kindergartens with IN Narcan because mommy or daddy needs a high ffs.

    , @Travis
    Suboxone works for opiate addicts...my cousin was addicted to heroin, in and out of rehab from 1995-2009 and has been clean now but uses Suboxone daily.

    Suboxone is a medication that contains both buprenorphine and naloxone. Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist – it produces the same effects opioids do, but in a milder form. It attaches to the same brain opioid receptors, and thus eliminates withdraw...while the naloxone is an opioid antagonist. As an antagonist, the naloxone blocks opioid receptors, which prevents the body from experiencing the opioid effects...The combination is designed to discourages users abusing Suboxone, since they cannot achieve a high from the drug.
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  30. @Karl
    7 Senator Brundlefly > libertarian argument of drugs being a voluntary transaction between parties falls apart when the product takes a hold of one party’s physiology. The compromise that I come up with in my mind is that drugs should be legalized but the cost of treating addicts should fall on the companies that sell them


    so, what about coffee? It is a stronger addictant than most opioids

    “so, what about coffee?”

    Yep, coffee is hard to kick. Still, I haven’t seen a big problem around here with coffee addicts mugging grannies in order to pay for their coffee habits. Apples and cueballs, y’know? ;-)

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  31. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:

    So that’s why a new opioid epidemic among rural Whites suddenly appeared. Money can be made !!!

    I knew it was a lie when the stories began in the lugenpresse. Now I know why the stories appeared.

    The easiest way to discern if a news story is true or not, watch where it’s published.

    Off topic. Both my computer and phone are inundated ed with invitations to attend an AIPAC conference. Only $599.00 for the ticket. Maybe it’s my zip code?

    I’ve noticed that heavy AIPAC activity means just 2 things.

    1. The Israeli fund raisers are coming to town.

    2. The Israelis are planning another assault on Palestinians or using the American military to invade another nation.

    In the next few days anti Semitic graffiti will appear on the fences and walls of Jewish cemeteries community centers and schools all over town.

    What’s the marching song of the Israeli army?

    Onward Christian soldiers.

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    • Replies: @anonymous
    This is Holocaust Week. There's a Jewish TV station here in Southwest CT where it's been round-the-clock Holocaust. The Tribe is now upset at the news that so many Millenials claim to have never heard of the Holocaust. In November of this year it'll be eighty years since Kristallnacht. If they haven't heard of the The Big H before, they'll get an ear full of it then.

    By the way, loved that little "Q&A" at the end. Gotta remember that one.
    , @James Forrestal
    "So that’s why a new opioid epidemic among rural Whites suddenly appeared. Money can be made !!!"

    The Sackler family (owners of Purdue Pharma, the privately-held corporation which produced and marketed Oxycontin) had a lot to do with it.
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  32. @Ron Unz
    I've never taken an Economics class in my life, but doesn't the work of a drug addiction clinic count toward the GDP?

    So the more drug addicts America has, the higher our GDP numbers and the stronger our economy and per capita income looks in international rankings compared with its Chinese and Russian competitors...

    I think various famous economists have similarly pointed out that huge natural disasters or gigantic waves of arson fires are also big boosts to the GDP...

    GDP is fake news

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  33. @Jim from Boston
    "I was standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona, such a fine sight to see..." is from the classic Eagles song "Take it Easy".

    Yup – maybe Steve has got a load of trouble on his mind.
    (Of course, it was “Jojo” who left his home in Tucson Arizona, for some California grass . . .)

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    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    "Oklahoma ... not Arizona... what does it matter? (written by Hoyt Axton, but just about every band plays it.)

    Speaking of drug addiction:
    "Well I never been to England
    But I kinda like the Beatles.
    Well, I headed for Las Vegas
    Only made it out to Needles


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dm6qw_yeo6o
    , @The Alarmist
    Note to Steve: That still leaves you with Sweet Loretta Martin on a corner in San Francisco from Tony Bennet's Get Back.
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  34. Caffeine? You’re joking, right? I drop caffeine about once a year, just because it’s so easy. One day of mild headaches and fuzziness … and it’s over. Easy!

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mishra

    Caffeine? You’re joking, right? I drop caffeine about once a year, just because it’s so easy. One day of mild headaches and fuzziness … and it’s over. Easy!
     
    Once a year, huh? Knock yourself out, dude.

    Here's my hero W.C. Fields: "Always carry a flagon of whiskey in case of snakebite and furthermore always carry a small snake."

    Alternate rendering: "I always keep some whiskey handy in case I see a snake...which I also keep handy."

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  35. @J.Ross
    This, there was a terrifying NPR piece on rural white suicide, blathering on and on about reaching out to the people for whom NPR spends every other minute of broadcast time wishing death. The solution was agreed to be getting folks into government systems where they would spend a lot of time talking about themselves to strangers.

    Who believes NPR or the rest of the liberal Jew anti White media? Only brainwashed, naive credulous liberals.
    If NPR PBS Washington post NYTimes
    MSNBC claimed Oregon is on the pacific west coast and Maine on the Atlantic, I’d check a map before I’d believe the story.

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  36. @Karl
    7 Senator Brundlefly > libertarian argument of drugs being a voluntary transaction between parties falls apart when the product takes a hold of one party’s physiology. The compromise that I come up with in my mind is that drugs should be legalized but the cost of treating addicts should fall on the companies that sell them


    so, what about coffee? It is a stronger addictant than most opioids

    I quit caffeine a few years ago. I had a bad headache that worked it’s way from back to front over the course of three days. That was it. And I drank a LOT of coffee.

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  37. @George
    "Drug treatment does not work." OK, what works?

    Very little. Religious conversion does the trick for some. Change in environment for others.

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  38. I went on a teenager church retreat near Prescott about 2000. They took us into town and let us hang around the courthouse square one afternoon. Even then, we had some rough looking characters come up and ask if we had anything green. Further inquiry revealed they weren’t looking for money.

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  39. Anonymous[400] • Disclaimer says:
    @Hodag
    I quit smoking pretty easily. I tried quitting caffeine. Never, never, ever am I doing that again.

    Same here. Quitting smoking wasn’t that bad. Only felt bad for a day or two, although I did feel a bit depressed for a few days after. I had bought some Nicorette, but never had to use it. Quitting coffee was absolutely miserable. Felt terrible and was completely out of it for at least 2 weeks. Absolute torture.

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  40. @Thorfinnsson
    Treating drug addicts counts towards GDP, but I am not sure it increases GDP.

    The GDP equation is very simple:

    Consumption + Investment (spending for future production e.g. buying machine tools, not buying stocks) + Government Spending + Net Exports = GDP

    This treatment is paid for by medical insurance, which means that it's paid for by these groups of people:

    * Employers which purchase insurance at market rates
    * The government (mostly federal)
    * The small number of high income self-employed people who also purchase medical insurance at market rates

    The money that goes to drug treatment now would otherwise result in lower insurance rates and a smaller government deficit. The lower insurance rates would increase other forms of consumer spending, corporate profits, and possibly wages.

    A larger deficit does increase GDP.

    Getting addicted to drugs also tends to cause people to become less productive or drop out of the work force entirely. This has a negative impact on GDP.

    I suspect the lost productivity of drug addicts far outweighs the increased GDP from a slightly larger budget deficit.

    Also, getting drug addicts clean reduces the sales of drug dealers. I don't believe the BEA counts the black market in GDP, but some foreign countries try to do so. So getting clean lowers GDP...at least until you get a job. :)

    Treating drug addicts counts towards GDP, but I am not sure it increases GDP….Getting addicted to drugs also tends to cause people to become less productive or drop out of the work force entirely. This has a negative impact on GDP.

    Absolutely true. I was really just being a little facetious on the topic, and on the flaws of the GDP metric.

    But wouldn’t one solution to the problem be to just rehabilitate current drug addicts by hiring them to counsel other current drug addicts at those drug rehabilitation centers? And if their salaries are high, then isn’t their “productivity” automatically high, based on the definition of a service-industry job?

    If Drug Addict A is gainfully employed at a fairly high salary to counsel Drug Addict B (and vice-versa), then aren’t both of them substantially contributing to our national per capita GDP and thus our excellent standard of living? Isn’t that one of the significant flaws in the GDP calculation?

    I think the classic case is that when mothers look after their own children at home, they contribute nothing to GDP. But if they merely swap their children with their neighbors’ children on a equal-paid daycare basis, they can then very substantially boost the GDP generated by every family in the country…

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    • Replies: @res

    I think the classic case is that when mothers look after their own children at home, they contribute nothing to GDP. But if they merely swap their children with their neighbors’ children on a equal-paid daycare basis, they can then very substantially boost the GDP generated by every family in the country…
     
    Exactly. Plus their income is then taxed.
    , @Achmed E. Newman
    All opportunity cost arguments aside, I think your point was that all sorts of stuff that not many may see as goods and services are wrapped up in the GDP. Yes, it is goods AND services, the goods of which can probably be calculated in a reasonable manner.

    Services can mean anything, so long as someone sees some value added. An example is a 1/2 million dollar lawsuit won by some shyster lawyer in a bogus sexual harrasment case. The lawyer's services, with his compensation of (usually) most of the money, are part of the GDP. Is this REALLY value added? Not for society and not for the company that lost the 1/2 million, it isn't.

    This is why economics, besides the basic 1st-semester supply/demand/elasticity stuff, can get pretty fuzzy, and it sure ain't a "science".

    I like your basic argument anyway that without manufacturing lots of things, we don't have a real economy, and indeed GDP is pretty bogus. I spent 4-5 years on Zerohedge.com, so don't mind me.
    , @Clyde
    The classic case is I take in your laundry, you take in mine. My lawn service rakes your leaves while your lawn service rakes mine. All will increase GDP. Matter of fact the Feds and States like this approach. They pay millions of low income and welfare types to look after each others children. As in an aunt gets paid to look after her niece's and daughter's young children. Other will have more details.
    , @Inquiring Mind
    Wasn't the drug treatment institution Synanon founded by a recovered alcoholic? I heard that their treatment mode was having the patients conduct Maost struggle sessions on their fellow patients, and the whole idea didn't work out over the long term.

    See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synanon

    , @Thorfinnsson

    Absolutely true. I was really just being a little facetious on the topic, and on the flaws of the GDP metric.
     
    GDP is pretty good for what it is, but it's unfortunate how much it dominates in economic reporting. It is after all just a measure of activity.

    It would be interesting to compare GDP to Net Domestic Product (NDP) by country for instance. NDP does not count investment required to replace depreciated capital.

    So if country A builds more durable capital or maintains it better than country B, it could plausibly have a lower GDP yet a higher NDP than country B.

    But wouldn’t one solution to the problem be to just rehabilitate current drug addicts by hiring them to counsel other current drug addicts at those drug rehabilitation centers? And if their salaries are high, then isn’t their “productivity” automatically high, based on the definition of a service-industry job?

    If Drug Addict A is gainfully employed at a fairly high salary to counsel Drug Addict B (and vice-versa), then aren’t both of them substantially contributing to our national per capita GDP and thus our excellent standard of living? Isn’t that one of the significant flaws in the GDP calculation?
     

    Economists try to adjust for this and have been aware of the problem for a long time. A salary hike with no change in the amount of services delivered is simply considered inflation.

    See this BLS article from 1982 for instance: https://stats.bls.gov/opub/mlr/1982/06/art1full.pdf

    Productivity measurements in the manufacturing industry might actually be worse than in the service sector as they don't properly account for the effect of supply chain offshoring. If General Motors offshores an engine foundry to Mexico and the price of the car assembled in Michigan with a Mexican engine drops as a result, that's registered as a productivity increase (or was--I first read about this problem in BusinessWeek in the naughties--possible the BEA has addressed it by now).

    Economists claim that the BEA and BLS are underfunded and that therefore our economic data isn't as good as it should be, but then my barber says I need a haircut.

    Calculating inflation is also quite difficult. Many on the dissident right in America have long been convinced that inflation is systematically underreported, most notably John Williams of Shadow Stats (who charges the same nominal price for a subscription he did a decade ago :) ).

    I don't agree with them, but it's notable that Axel Weber (President of the Bundesbank 2004-2011) once claimed that Germany would register a considerable increase in reported economic growth if it used the methodology to calculate inflation employed by the BLS.

    So yes, GDP figures should be taken with a grain of salt. But they do seem to be generally correct. The high per capita GDP countries all give the impression of being quite prosperous, and also tend to accord with truly objective material metrics such as physical living space per person.

    I think the classic case is that when mothers look after their own children at home, they contribute nothing to GDP. But if they merely swap their children with their neighbors’ children on a equal-paid daycare basis, they can then very substantially boost the GDP generated by every family in the country…
     

    The inventor of GDP (Simon Kuznets) admitted this flaw himself: https://blog.bea.gov/tag/household-production/

    Back in 1965, when fewer women were in the formal labor force and more were working in the nonmarket sector, GDP would have been raised by 39 percent.
     

    The economics profession (priesthood?) has very serious flaws, but econometrics is all right. It's a difficult, messy job of course.
    , @Charles Pewitt
    Unz Goes Escher:

    https://twitter.com/pickover/status/982766461956575233
    , @Mr. Anon

    I think the classic case is that when mothers look after their own children at home, they contribute nothing to GDP. But if they merely swap their children with their neighbors’ children on a equal-paid daycare basis, they can then very substantially boost the GDP generated by every family in the country…
     
    And as an added benefit, their kids will grow up to be alienated and resentful, requiring a lifetime of psychological counseling and social services themselves.

    And you can't put a price on that.

    As you say, a lot of what goes into boosting GDP actually represent things that tend to destroy a society.
    , @Dieter Kief
    I'd assume unz.com is not too impressive, GDP wise.
    (And it has addictive qualities, which don't lead to much GDP-relevant action either (there might still be no widely accepetd cure for an unz.com addiction).
    In the end, unz.com might even distract people from doing lots of good things, GDP wise, and even you personally, Ron Unz, might rightfully be accused of subverting GDP, even.

    So - GDPcould therefor be looked upon as pretty much un-Unzian overall.
    , @James Forrestal
    Krugman and Bernanke are walking down the street and see a pile of dog s**t. Bernanke says "I'll give you twenty thousand dollars to eat that pile of s**t." Krugman does it, gets paid, and they keep on walking.

    After a while, they see another pile of s**t on the road. Seeing an opportunity for revenge, Krugman says "Tell you what, I'll give YOU twenty grand to eat that pile of s**t." Bernanke does it, Krugman gives him back the money, and they keep walking.

    After a while Bernanke says "I'm feeling pretty sick. We both ate s**t and neither of us is any richer." Krugman answers "You're missing the bigger picture. We've increased GDP by forty thousand dollars and created two jobs."
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  41. Heartwarming story of Yankee ingenuity.

    BTW, I found a study that might partly explain why so many white Americans get prescribed pain meds: racism!

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4843483/

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  42. @anon
    (Strikethrough tag not allowed?)

    But there are few studies on the Florida Model’s law schools' effectiveness. Many clinics schools claim that 80 to 90 percent of their graduates stay sober make over $50k per year within two years of graduation, although those statistics are commonly based on surveys of graduates and considered unreliable by academics. The main concern is that people who have relapsed not been successful are either hard to find — in which case they are not counted — or may be motivated to lie out of embarrassment.
     
    At least this was the case 10 years ago, I recall there was some talk of upping the reporting standards.

    It's kind of amazing how much money can get thrown around, all justified on such frivolous BS. The Big One, of course, being mid-aught mortgage lending.

    This trend(?) seems indicative of a society in decline.

    (Strikethrough tag not allowed?)

    There are three variants: strike, del, s. http://xahlee.info/js/html_s_strike_del_html5.html
    Here is how they render in the comments:

    strike
    del
    s

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    • Replies: @anon
    Interesting, thanks.

    I actually did try either "s" or "strike" (I think, found from googling), but it didn't display strikethrough in preview mode, so switched to italics..

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  43. @Ron Unz

    Treating drug addicts counts towards GDP, but I am not sure it increases GDP....Getting addicted to drugs also tends to cause people to become less productive or drop out of the work force entirely. This has a negative impact on GDP.
     
    Absolutely true. I was really just being a little facetious on the topic, and on the flaws of the GDP metric.

    But wouldn't one solution to the problem be to just rehabilitate current drug addicts by hiring them to counsel other current drug addicts at those drug rehabilitation centers? And if their salaries are high, then isn't their "productivity" automatically high, based on the definition of a service-industry job?

    If Drug Addict A is gainfully employed at a fairly high salary to counsel Drug Addict B (and vice-versa), then aren't both of them substantially contributing to our national per capita GDP and thus our excellent standard of living? Isn't that one of the significant flaws in the GDP calculation?

    I think the classic case is that when mothers look after their own children at home, they contribute nothing to GDP. But if they merely swap their children with their neighbors' children on a equal-paid daycare basis, they can then very substantially boost the GDP generated by every family in the country...

    I think the classic case is that when mothers look after their own children at home, they contribute nothing to GDP. But if they merely swap their children with their neighbors’ children on a equal-paid daycare basis, they can then very substantially boost the GDP generated by every family in the country…

    Exactly. Plus their income is then taxed.

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  44. I don ‘t remember where I first heard this one:

    A young economist and an old economist are walking down a road. They come upon a fresh pile of horse manure. The old economist says, “I’ll give you $10,000 to eat it!” The young economist screws up his courage, holds his nose, and eats the manure. It’s chewy but he gets it down. A few minutes later, they come upon another pile of manure, this one even bigger and smellier than the first. The young economist says to the old one, “I’ll give you $10,000 to eat it!” The old economist eats the manure, gagging and choking the whole while. He then says proudly, “We’re even.”

    The young economist looks troubled. He says, “We both just ate manure and neither one of us made any money.” The old economist says, “Not to worry. We just added $20,000 to the GDP!”

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  45. @Anonymous
    Sounds kind of like Amway style multi-level marketing.

    Sounds kind of like Amway style multi-level marketing.

    Yeah, but at least it’s not a pyramid scheme.

    I can see where this has potential: “For every 3 new people that you get addicted to meth, or 2 people on Oxycontin, you will earn 10 DrugWay points. 100 points can be cashed in for a 2 lb. bag of week, 2 oz. of cocaine, or a week’s stay at any Holiday Inn Express property (blackout locations may apply in drug deserts.)”

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  46. @Ron Unz

    Treating drug addicts counts towards GDP, but I am not sure it increases GDP....Getting addicted to drugs also tends to cause people to become less productive or drop out of the work force entirely. This has a negative impact on GDP.
     
    Absolutely true. I was really just being a little facetious on the topic, and on the flaws of the GDP metric.

    But wouldn't one solution to the problem be to just rehabilitate current drug addicts by hiring them to counsel other current drug addicts at those drug rehabilitation centers? And if their salaries are high, then isn't their "productivity" automatically high, based on the definition of a service-industry job?

    If Drug Addict A is gainfully employed at a fairly high salary to counsel Drug Addict B (and vice-versa), then aren't both of them substantially contributing to our national per capita GDP and thus our excellent standard of living? Isn't that one of the significant flaws in the GDP calculation?

    I think the classic case is that when mothers look after their own children at home, they contribute nothing to GDP. But if they merely swap their children with their neighbors' children on a equal-paid daycare basis, they can then very substantially boost the GDP generated by every family in the country...

    All opportunity cost arguments aside, I think your point was that all sorts of stuff that not many may see as goods and services are wrapped up in the GDP. Yes, it is goods AND services, the goods of which can probably be calculated in a reasonable manner.

    Services can mean anything, so long as someone sees some value added. An example is a 1/2 million dollar lawsuit won by some shyster lawyer in a bogus sexual harrasment case. The lawyer’s services, with his compensation of (usually) most of the money, are part of the GDP. Is this REALLY value added? Not for society and not for the company that lost the 1/2 million, it isn’t.

    This is why economics, besides the basic 1st-semester supply/demand/elasticity stuff, can get pretty fuzzy, and it sure ain’t a “science”.

    I like your basic argument anyway that without manufacturing lots of things, we don’t have a real economy, and indeed GDP is pretty bogus. I spent 4-5 years on Zerohedge.com, so don’t mind me.

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  47. @Paul Jolliffe
    Yup - maybe Steve has got a load of trouble on his mind.
    (Of course, it was "Jojo" who left his home in Tucson Arizona, for some California grass . . .)

    “Oklahoma … not Arizona… what does it matter? (written by Hoyt Axton, but just about every band plays it.)

    Speaking of drug addiction:
    “Well I never been to England
    But I kinda like the Beatles.
    Well, I headed for Las Vegas
    Only made it out to Needles

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  48. @Anon
    Krugman is such a clueless Keynsian he was hoping for an alien invasion so GDP would be boosted from the reconstruction. These people are nuts, go Von Mises!

    Krugman is such a clueless Keynsian he was hoping for an alien invasion so GDP would be boosted from the reconstruction. These people are nuts, go Von Mises!

    Think about it! We can increase our GDP by almost 100 billion if we move (immigrate) everyone from Honduras and Guatemala into the United States. Plus we instantly get millions of low cost cannon fodder for wars in Syria etc.. Get Paul Krugman on this!

    Honduras
    Population: 9.11 million (2016)
    GDP: $21.79 billion USD (2017)
    Guatemala
    Population: 16.58 million (2016)
    GDP: $74.60 billion USD (2018)

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  49. @Ron Unz

    Treating drug addicts counts towards GDP, but I am not sure it increases GDP....Getting addicted to drugs also tends to cause people to become less productive or drop out of the work force entirely. This has a negative impact on GDP.
     
    Absolutely true. I was really just being a little facetious on the topic, and on the flaws of the GDP metric.

    But wouldn't one solution to the problem be to just rehabilitate current drug addicts by hiring them to counsel other current drug addicts at those drug rehabilitation centers? And if their salaries are high, then isn't their "productivity" automatically high, based on the definition of a service-industry job?

    If Drug Addict A is gainfully employed at a fairly high salary to counsel Drug Addict B (and vice-versa), then aren't both of them substantially contributing to our national per capita GDP and thus our excellent standard of living? Isn't that one of the significant flaws in the GDP calculation?

    I think the classic case is that when mothers look after their own children at home, they contribute nothing to GDP. But if they merely swap their children with their neighbors' children on a equal-paid daycare basis, they can then very substantially boost the GDP generated by every family in the country...

    The classic case is I take in your laundry, you take in mine. My lawn service rakes your leaves while your lawn service rakes mine. All will increase GDP. Matter of fact the Feds and States like this approach. They pay millions of low income and welfare types to look after each others children. As in an aunt gets paid to look after her niece’s and daughter’s young children. Other will have more details.

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  50. @George
    "Drug treatment does not work." OK, what works?

    Dirty little secret is that 12-step programs don’t work either. I researched this to death once and came up with one thing that did work. The Betty Ford Treatment Center’s program worked for one class of client, and one only. Airline pilots.

    Why? Because the airlines don’t give you a third chance. And fourth, etc. Probably helps that pilots are more responsible people to begin with, but that’s assigning agency which we dare not do nowadays when everything’s addictive and everyone’s a victim.

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    • Replies: @The preferred nomenclature is...
    Researched how?

    Define don't work.
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  51. @Reactionary Utopian
    Caffeine? You’re joking, right? I drop caffeine about once a year, just because it’s so easy. One day of mild headaches and fuzziness ... and it’s over. Easy!

    Caffeine? You’re joking, right? I drop caffeine about once a year, just because it’s so easy. One day of mild headaches and fuzziness … and it’s over. Easy!

    Once a year, huh? Knock yourself out, dude.

    Here’s my hero W.C. Fields: “Always carry a flagon of whiskey in case of snakebite and furthermore always carry a small snake.”

    Alternate rendering: “I always keep some whiskey handy in case I see a snake…which I also keep handy.”

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  52. @Reactionary Utopian
    Awwww, come on, man, I’ve had a rough night! And I HATE the fuckin’ Eagles, man!

    I HATE the fuckin’ Eagles, man!

    Rock version, or Country version, or both?

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  53. @Senator Brundlefly
    I've always been in conflict about drug legalization. On the one hand, I think the drug war has been a foot in the door to violate civil liberties and has forced people into the prison system for something that ostensibly only harms themselves (and once you're in, its hard to get out). On the other hand, addiction leads to things like this where the state inevitably ends up with the responsibility of caring for addicts. The libertarian argument of drugs being a voluntary transaction between parties falls apart when the product takes a hold of one party's physiology. The compromise that I come up with in my mind is that drugs should be legalized but the cost of treating addicts should fall on the companies that sell them (via tax or some sort of legal mechanism where the company is fined for the cost of every addict's treatment). Course that would likely lead to the same underground market that currently exists and possibly opens a can of worms for fast food/soda companies and fat people or beer companies and drunk drivers. Really don't know how you solve it.

    I’ve always been in conflict about drug legalization…. The libertarian argument of drugs being a voluntary transaction between parties falls apart when the product takes a hold of one party’s physiology.

    Once addiction enters the picture, the drug trade is not a voluntary transaction. The libertarian fundamental assumption of rational individuals is flawed. Humans are neither rational, nor individuals. We are part of a complex society where people’s actions are driven by many reasons, most of which are not rational. If a significant portion of your society becomes addicted to heroin (an irrational decision), best of luck having a law abiding, wealthy society.

    All libertarian premises only work in a high functioning, law abiding society.

    The compromise that I come up with in my mind…

    Libertarianism in a nutshell. It’s all in your head, pal.

    Really don’t know how you solve it.

    See Singapore.

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    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar


    Really don’t know how you solve it.
     
    See Singapore.
     
    I dare you to suggest this about guns:

    https://www.loc.gov/law/help/firearms-control/singapore.php

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  54. @Ron Unz

    Treating drug addicts counts towards GDP, but I am not sure it increases GDP....Getting addicted to drugs also tends to cause people to become less productive or drop out of the work force entirely. This has a negative impact on GDP.
     
    Absolutely true. I was really just being a little facetious on the topic, and on the flaws of the GDP metric.

    But wouldn't one solution to the problem be to just rehabilitate current drug addicts by hiring them to counsel other current drug addicts at those drug rehabilitation centers? And if their salaries are high, then isn't their "productivity" automatically high, based on the definition of a service-industry job?

    If Drug Addict A is gainfully employed at a fairly high salary to counsel Drug Addict B (and vice-versa), then aren't both of them substantially contributing to our national per capita GDP and thus our excellent standard of living? Isn't that one of the significant flaws in the GDP calculation?

    I think the classic case is that when mothers look after their own children at home, they contribute nothing to GDP. But if they merely swap their children with their neighbors' children on a equal-paid daycare basis, they can then very substantially boost the GDP generated by every family in the country...

    Wasn’t the drug treatment institution Synanon founded by a recovered alcoholic? I heard that their treatment mode was having the patients conduct Maost struggle sessions on their fellow patients, and the whole idea didn’t work out over the long term.

    See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synanon

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    • Replies: @Coemgen
    For more about heroin addiction and Synanon see Straight Life: The Story of Art Pepper.
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  55. @Ron Unz

    Treating drug addicts counts towards GDP, but I am not sure it increases GDP....Getting addicted to drugs also tends to cause people to become less productive or drop out of the work force entirely. This has a negative impact on GDP.
     
    Absolutely true. I was really just being a little facetious on the topic, and on the flaws of the GDP metric.

    But wouldn't one solution to the problem be to just rehabilitate current drug addicts by hiring them to counsel other current drug addicts at those drug rehabilitation centers? And if their salaries are high, then isn't their "productivity" automatically high, based on the definition of a service-industry job?

    If Drug Addict A is gainfully employed at a fairly high salary to counsel Drug Addict B (and vice-versa), then aren't both of them substantially contributing to our national per capita GDP and thus our excellent standard of living? Isn't that one of the significant flaws in the GDP calculation?

    I think the classic case is that when mothers look after their own children at home, they contribute nothing to GDP. But if they merely swap their children with their neighbors' children on a equal-paid daycare basis, they can then very substantially boost the GDP generated by every family in the country...

    Absolutely true. I was really just being a little facetious on the topic, and on the flaws of the GDP metric.

    GDP is pretty good for what it is, but it’s unfortunate how much it dominates in economic reporting. It is after all just a measure of activity.

    It would be interesting to compare GDP to Net Domestic Product (NDP) by country for instance. NDP does not count investment required to replace depreciated capital.

    So if country A builds more durable capital or maintains it better than country B, it could plausibly have a lower GDP yet a higher NDP than country B.

    But wouldn’t one solution to the problem be to just rehabilitate current drug addicts by hiring them to counsel other current drug addicts at those drug rehabilitation centers? And if their salaries are high, then isn’t their “productivity” automatically high, based on the definition of a service-industry job?

    If Drug Addict A is gainfully employed at a fairly high salary to counsel Drug Addict B (and vice-versa), then aren’t both of them substantially contributing to our national per capita GDP and thus our excellent standard of living? Isn’t that one of the significant flaws in the GDP calculation?

    Economists try to adjust for this and have been aware of the problem for a long time. A salary hike with no change in the amount of services delivered is simply considered inflation.

    See this BLS article from 1982 for instance: https://stats.bls.gov/opub/mlr/1982/06/art1full.pdf

    Productivity measurements in the manufacturing industry might actually be worse than in the service sector as they don’t properly account for the effect of supply chain offshoring. If General Motors offshores an engine foundry to Mexico and the price of the car assembled in Michigan with a Mexican engine drops as a result, that’s registered as a productivity increase (or was–I first read about this problem in BusinessWeek in the naughties–possible the BEA has addressed it by now).

    Economists claim that the BEA and BLS are underfunded and that therefore our economic data isn’t as good as it should be, but then my barber says I need a haircut.

    Calculating inflation is also quite difficult. Many on the dissident right in America have long been convinced that inflation is systematically underreported, most notably John Williams of Shadow Stats (who charges the same nominal price for a subscription he did a decade ago :) ).

    I don’t agree with them, but it’s notable that Axel Weber (President of the Bundesbank 2004-2011) once claimed that Germany would register a considerable increase in reported economic growth if it used the methodology to calculate inflation employed by the BLS.

    So yes, GDP figures should be taken with a grain of salt. But they do seem to be generally correct. The high per capita GDP countries all give the impression of being quite prosperous, and also tend to accord with truly objective material metrics such as physical living space per person.

    I think the classic case is that when mothers look after their own children at home, they contribute nothing to GDP. But if they merely swap their children with their neighbors’ children on a equal-paid daycare basis, they can then very substantially boost the GDP generated by every family in the country…

    The inventor of GDP (Simon Kuznets) admitted this flaw himself: https://blog.bea.gov/tag/household-production/

    Back in 1965, when fewer women were in the formal labor force and more were working in the nonmarket sector, GDP would have been raised by 39 percent.

    The economics profession (priesthood?) has very serious flaws, but econometrics is all right. It’s a difficult, messy job of course.

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  56. Anonymous[326] • Disclaimer says:
    @Dieter Kief

    * This is a reference, of course, to the famous “Arizona”-rhyming song from almost 50 years ago by the Eagles: “Get Back.”

     

    Yes. Ah but: "Take It Easy" is the title.

    Jackson Browne (almost completely) wrote this song though, if - The Eagles' Glenn Frey was right about all this:


    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/01/19/glenn-frey-is-dead-but-the-take-it-easy-corner-in-winslow-arizona-lives-on/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.fa69f1ff853f

    These Eagles (is it “The Eagles” or just “Eagles”? I never can remember….) are, for the benefit of younger readers, not to be confused with “Eagles of Death Metal”.

    Similarly, The Guess Who were no relation to The Who, nor, to The The.

    Glenn Frey , of The Eagles, (or the Eagles, whatever) was also a film and TV actor of fair talent-no Sir Alec Guinness, but okay. He played a talent agent on the old Ken Wahl series Wiseguy.

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  57. Read More
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  58. @George
    "Drug treatment does not work." OK, what works?

    Changing the paradigm from recreational drug use being a “disease” versus a choice, thereby stripping all responsibility from the addict.

    Right now addiction treatment is a lot of “there there you poor thing” nonsense that addicts, who are some of the most narcissistic and sociopathic people I’ve ever run into don’t need. Alternating bouts of “no one loves me and that’s why I use” and “ONLY GOD CAN JUDGE” with sob story after sob story about their families turning their back on them. Its only later you find out about the trail of human wreckage in the junkie’s wake tho.

    Personally, I think restricting Narcan heavily would be great. Right now you got kindergartens with IN Narcan because mommy or daddy needs a high ffs.

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  59. @Ron Unz
    I've never taken an Economics class in my life, but doesn't the work of a drug addiction clinic count toward the GDP?

    So the more drug addicts America has, the higher our GDP numbers and the stronger our economy and per capita income looks in international rankings compared with its Chinese and Russian competitors...

    I think various famous economists have similarly pointed out that huge natural disasters or gigantic waves of arson fires are also big boosts to the GDP...

    Also, divorce.

    Anything that leads to money changing hands is good for GDP.

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  60. CJ says:

    Well-known phenomenon: people who have recently succeeded in staying off drugs first look for work as drug counselors. This is a cliche around detox centers and Narcotics Anonymous. Ex-addicts don’t generally have good work histories, and in the early days after getting clean, they have an enthusiasm for helping others do the same. If they are now in a different town from where they did drugs and hung out with other users, they tend to stay there. Viewed from this angle, the Prescott situation is understandable.

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  61. @Macumazahn
    I know one way to solve it - leave the addicts to their own devices.
    They'd happily kill themselves off, if only we'd let them.
    But no, now we're being told that we should all carry and administer naloxone.
    http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/priorities/opioid-overdose-prevention/naloxone-advisory.html
    Sorry, Doc Adams, but treating people who suffer from "an opioid use disorder" isn't my responsibility.

    Combined with Duterte style informal executions of drug dealers, in that case, including opioid pill mills and suchlike. Be creative. Don’t forget to hang the Sacklers from their big university buildings.

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  62. I’d call the increase in homelessness from Obamacare a classic case of unintended consequences.

    I once dated a nurse who worked at a methadone clinic in Santa Cruz California handing out the daily doses. She hated the clients and herself for stooping so low to take the job.

    As for disaster increasing GDP, if the productive but inefficient assets are replaced with more modern and efficient plant, then GDP would likely be increased.

    Think the Ruhr Valley or the small shops at Hiroshima post-WWII.

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  63. @res

    (Strikethrough tag not allowed?)
     
    There are three variants: strike, del, s. http://xahlee.info/js/html_s_strike_del_html5.html
    Here is how they render in the comments:

    strike
    del
    s

    Interesting, thanks.

    I actually did try either “s” or “strike” (I think, found from googling), but it didn’t display strikethrough in preview mode, so switched to italics..

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  64. @Thorfinnsson
    Treating drug addicts counts towards GDP, but I am not sure it increases GDP.

    The GDP equation is very simple:

    Consumption + Investment (spending for future production e.g. buying machine tools, not buying stocks) + Government Spending + Net Exports = GDP

    This treatment is paid for by medical insurance, which means that it's paid for by these groups of people:

    * Employers which purchase insurance at market rates
    * The government (mostly federal)
    * The small number of high income self-employed people who also purchase medical insurance at market rates

    The money that goes to drug treatment now would otherwise result in lower insurance rates and a smaller government deficit. The lower insurance rates would increase other forms of consumer spending, corporate profits, and possibly wages.

    A larger deficit does increase GDP.

    Getting addicted to drugs also tends to cause people to become less productive or drop out of the work force entirely. This has a negative impact on GDP.

    I suspect the lost productivity of drug addicts far outweighs the increased GDP from a slightly larger budget deficit.

    Also, getting drug addicts clean reduces the sales of drug dealers. I don't believe the BEA counts the black market in GDP, but some foreign countries try to do so. So getting clean lowers GDP...at least until you get a job. :)

    The GDP equation is very simple:

    Consumption + Investment (spending for future production e.g. buying machine tools, not buying stocks) + Government Spending + Net Exports = GDP

    It’s simpler than that. GDP = Debt.

    (Since all money is debt anyways.)

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    It’s simpler than that. GDP = Debt
     
    That's not correct.

    https://ycharts.com/indicators/us_total_debt_gdp

    The data series stops in 2015, but as you can see debt considerably exceeds GDP.

    You may be thinking of PQ = MV, a monetarist way of expressing output.


    (Since all money is debt anyways.)
     
    Mostly. Physical currency isn't.
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  65. Prescott in central Arizona is at a mile-high elevation

    The REAL mile high club.

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  66. @Ron Unz
    I've never taken an Economics class in my life, but doesn't the work of a drug addiction clinic count toward the GDP?

    So the more drug addicts America has, the higher our GDP numbers and the stronger our economy and per capita income looks in international rankings compared with its Chinese and Russian competitors...

    I think various famous economists have similarly pointed out that huge natural disasters or gigantic waves of arson fires are also big boosts to the GDP...

    French economist Frédéric Bastiat explained this phenomenon in 1850. It’s referred to as the broken windows fallacy. Bastiat described how there can be economic activity that increases what today we refer to as GDP but does not result in aggregate economic well being.

    A recent example is the hurricane and massive flooding in Houston. A lot of economic activity for contractors, manufacturers, etc. but all to only get people back to where they were in material terms before the storm. To the degree that remediation is paid for by insurance or government, it’s a net drain on the rest of the country. Insurance? My rates are going up in Austin for both homeowners and auto insurance. Government? Either more taxes, more deficit, or shifting of spending from other activities.

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  67. @Hodag
    Drug treatment does not work. It just makes the addict have a larger circle of drug friends.

    do you think Rush Limbaugh is still using opiates ?

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  68. @Ron Unz
    I've never taken an Economics class in my life, but doesn't the work of a drug addiction clinic count toward the GDP?

    So the more drug addicts America has, the higher our GDP numbers and the stronger our economy and per capita income looks in international rankings compared with its Chinese and Russian competitors...

    I think various famous economists have similarly pointed out that huge natural disasters or gigantic waves of arson fires are also big boosts to the GDP...

    Ron: My current workout listening is Prof Armstrong’s lecture series on the Black Death.

    One of the upsides of civilization-wide 50 percent mortality was, it gave a huge boost to the price of labor.

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    I get it. While trying to delay the Grim Reaper you listen to a reminiscing Grim Reaper in hopes he won't notice you are still breathing. Smart.
    , @D. K.
    The survivors also inherited the property of the deceased, greatly increasing per capita wealth.
    , @D. K.
    I see that Dr. Armstrong is in the English Department at Purdue. A month from today, I will commemorate the 40th anniversary of my baccalaureate-- which I skipped, sleeping in at my off-campus home in West Lafayette. I was a dual major in (General) History and English at Purdue. I studied the plague in a class taught by Dr. Charles Ingrao, whom I have since seen, multiple times, on "The News Hour" on PBS, being interviewed as an expert on European history. I do not recall any courses, or even assignments, having to do with the Black Death, when I was studying English in Heavilon Hall, back in the day.
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  69. @Ron Unz

    Treating drug addicts counts towards GDP, but I am not sure it increases GDP....Getting addicted to drugs also tends to cause people to become less productive or drop out of the work force entirely. This has a negative impact on GDP.
     
    Absolutely true. I was really just being a little facetious on the topic, and on the flaws of the GDP metric.

    But wouldn't one solution to the problem be to just rehabilitate current drug addicts by hiring them to counsel other current drug addicts at those drug rehabilitation centers? And if their salaries are high, then isn't their "productivity" automatically high, based on the definition of a service-industry job?

    If Drug Addict A is gainfully employed at a fairly high salary to counsel Drug Addict B (and vice-versa), then aren't both of them substantially contributing to our national per capita GDP and thus our excellent standard of living? Isn't that one of the significant flaws in the GDP calculation?

    I think the classic case is that when mothers look after their own children at home, they contribute nothing to GDP. But if they merely swap their children with their neighbors' children on a equal-paid daycare basis, they can then very substantially boost the GDP generated by every family in the country...

    Unz Goes Escher:

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  70. anonymous[106] • Disclaimer says:

    Been to Prescott several times over the decades…nice town, ideally situated between the hot Sonoran desert four thousand feet below and the higher elevations in northern Arizona…summers are hot, but not too hot; winter can be nippy, but not as cold as the White Mountain area to the northeast. Considered retiring there but have crossed it off the list after reading this.

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    • Agree: Frank the Prof
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  71. anonymous[106] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anon
    So that’s why a new opioid epidemic among rural Whites suddenly appeared. Money can be made !!!

    I knew it was a lie when the stories began in the lugenpresse. Now I know why the stories appeared.

    The easiest way to discern if a news story is true or not, watch where it’s published.

    Off topic. Both my computer and phone are inundated ed with invitations to attend an AIPAC conference. Only $599.00 for the ticket. Maybe it’s my zip code?

    I’ve noticed that heavy AIPAC activity means just 2 things.

    1. The Israeli fund raisers are coming to town.

    2. The Israelis are planning another assault on Palestinians or using the American military to invade another nation.

    In the next few days anti Semitic graffiti will appear on the fences and walls of Jewish cemeteries community centers and schools all over town.

    What’s the marching song of the Israeli army?

    Onward Christian soldiers.

    This is Holocaust Week. There’s a Jewish TV station here in Southwest CT where it’s been round-the-clock Holocaust. The Tribe is now upset at the news that so many Millenials claim to have never heard of the Holocaust. In November of this year it’ll be eighty years since Kristallnacht. If they haven’t heard of the The Big H before, they’ll get an ear full of it then.

    By the way, loved that little “Q&A” at the end. Gotta remember that one.

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    • Replies: @Brutusale
    I think Sabrina Rubin Erdely and Jackie Coakley brought The Night of Broken Glass back to the modern lexicon.
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  72. A relative of mine who lives in California remarked to me once, how everytime she heard an interview with a drug addict or recovering drug addict, they invariably said that what they wanted to do after they got sober was to come a counselor. Perhaps the best people for the job of counseling broken people are not other broken people.

    On the other hand, if you are a drug addict reluctantly going to rehab, I suppose the best one to go to is the one run by somebody who knows where and how to score drugs.

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  73. An old joke around AA in San Francisco, circa 1994.

    “You know the difference between an alcoholic and a drug addict? Both will steal your money but a drug addict will also help you look for it.”

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  74. @Ron Unz

    Treating drug addicts counts towards GDP, but I am not sure it increases GDP....Getting addicted to drugs also tends to cause people to become less productive or drop out of the work force entirely. This has a negative impact on GDP.
     
    Absolutely true. I was really just being a little facetious on the topic, and on the flaws of the GDP metric.

    But wouldn't one solution to the problem be to just rehabilitate current drug addicts by hiring them to counsel other current drug addicts at those drug rehabilitation centers? And if their salaries are high, then isn't their "productivity" automatically high, based on the definition of a service-industry job?

    If Drug Addict A is gainfully employed at a fairly high salary to counsel Drug Addict B (and vice-versa), then aren't both of them substantially contributing to our national per capita GDP and thus our excellent standard of living? Isn't that one of the significant flaws in the GDP calculation?

    I think the classic case is that when mothers look after their own children at home, they contribute nothing to GDP. But if they merely swap their children with their neighbors' children on a equal-paid daycare basis, they can then very substantially boost the GDP generated by every family in the country...

    I think the classic case is that when mothers look after their own children at home, they contribute nothing to GDP. But if they merely swap their children with their neighbors’ children on a equal-paid daycare basis, they can then very substantially boost the GDP generated by every family in the country…

    And as an added benefit, their kids will grow up to be alienated and resentful, requiring a lifetime of psychological counseling and social services themselves.

    And you can’t put a price on that.

    As you say, a lot of what goes into boosting GDP actually represent things that tend to destroy a society.

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  75. @Reactionary Utopian
    Awwww, come on, man, I’ve had a rough night! And I HATE the fuckin’ Eagles, man!

    GET OUT!

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  76. @John Derbyshire

    I get it. While trying to delay the Grim Reaper you listen to a reminiscing Grim Reaper in hopes he won’t notice you are still breathing. Smart.

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  77. @Anonymous
    Sounds kind of like Amway style multi-level marketing.

    Except, in reverse.

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  78. @Bernardo Pizzaro Cortez Del Castro
    Natural disasters tend to destroy assets and wealth , but spending to rebuild destroyed homes and roads appears to increase GDP with money which is borrowed from Asians and we end up with a larger debt while we pay interest to the Japanese and Chinese. when my home was damaged from hurricane Sandy we were forced to spend money we had saved to buy a new car to pay the workers to fix our house, So one less car was sold in America which may have added less to the GDP than using the $25,000 to fix our house.

    Exactly. Anyone who thinks disasters are “good for GDP” has fallen for the “broken windows fallacy”.

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  79. @Ron Unz
    I've never taken an Economics class in my life, but doesn't the work of a drug addiction clinic count toward the GDP?

    So the more drug addicts America has, the higher our GDP numbers and the stronger our economy and per capita income looks in international rankings compared with its Chinese and Russian competitors...

    I think various famous economists have similarly pointed out that huge natural disasters or gigantic waves of arson fires are also big boosts to the GDP...

    Ron, read up on the “broken window fallacy”, and let that be your first lesson in economics.

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    • Replies: @tomv
    While he's doing that, you can read up on "sarcasm".
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  80. @Bernardo Pizzaro Cortez Del Castro
    Natural disasters tend to destroy assets and wealth , but spending to rebuild destroyed homes and roads appears to increase GDP with money which is borrowed from Asians and we end up with a larger debt while we pay interest to the Japanese and Chinese. when my home was damaged from hurricane Sandy we were forced to spend money we had saved to buy a new car to pay the workers to fix our house, So one less car was sold in America which may have added less to the GDP than using the $25,000 to fix our house.

    Exactly. This is what Bastiat railed against – the broken window fallacy of economic growth, which ignores opportunity costs.

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    • Agree: Travis
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  81. @John Derbyshire

    The survivors also inherited the property of the deceased, greatly increasing per capita wealth.

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  82. @John Derbyshire

    I see that Dr. Armstrong is in the English Department at Purdue. A month from today, I will commemorate the 40th anniversary of my baccalaureate– which I skipped, sleeping in at my off-campus home in West Lafayette. I was a dual major in (General) History and English at Purdue. I studied the plague in a class taught by Dr. Charles Ingrao, whom I have since seen, multiple times, on “The News Hour” on PBS, being interviewed as an expert on European history. I do not recall any courses, or even assignments, having to do with the Black Death, when I was studying English in Heavilon Hall, back in the day.

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    • Replies: @D. K.
    Dr. Ingrao, whom I had for multiple courses, and who provided recommendation letters for me for both graduate school and law school, has had quite an estimable career, in the forty years since I left University Hall with my B.A. degree:

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Ingrao
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  83. The whole drug rehab thing is a scam anyway. It takes a few days to detoxify someone so that the drug is out of their body, and a few days to develop some strategies for avoiding re-uptake of the drugs, like staying away from druggie friends and dealers, and of course doctors with a heavy prescription pen, doing exercises for back pain instead of taking pills.

    Of course the real problem is that the entire US has a “pill for every ill” mentality that is inculcated from birth and encouraged by the drug industry. It is almost as bad as the guns thing.

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    • Replies: @J.Ross
    The "guns thing" is our defining philosophical glory and the main thing keeping us from being like you. You have weight loss wards where the patients are allowed to buy bags of potato chips from carts provided by the weight loss ward. But like you say, it's a great place to live if you're rich and segregated, just like the rest of the developing world.
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  84. @Karl
    7 Senator Brundlefly > libertarian argument of drugs being a voluntary transaction between parties falls apart when the product takes a hold of one party’s physiology. The compromise that I come up with in my mind is that drugs should be legalized but the cost of treating addicts should fall on the companies that sell them


    so, what about coffee? It is a stronger addictant than most opioids

    so, what about coffee? It is a stronger addictant than most opioids

    Like, whatever.

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  85. @Mishra
    Dirty little secret is that 12-step programs don't work either. I researched this to death once and came up with one thing that did work. The Betty Ford Treatment Center's program worked for one class of client, and one only. Airline pilots.

    Why? Because the airlines don't give you a third chance. And fourth, etc. Probably helps that pilots are more responsible people to begin with, but that's assigning agency which we dare not do nowadays when everything's addictive and everyone's a victim.

    Researched how?

    Define don’t work.

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  86. @Jonathan Mason
    The whole drug rehab thing is a scam anyway. It takes a few days to detoxify someone so that the drug is out of their body, and a few days to develop some strategies for avoiding re-uptake of the drugs, like staying away from druggie friends and dealers, and of course doctors with a heavy prescription pen, doing exercises for back pain instead of taking pills.

    Of course the real problem is that the entire US has a "pill for every ill" mentality that is inculcated from birth and encouraged by the drug industry. It is almost as bad as the guns thing.

    The “guns thing” is our defining philosophical glory and the main thing keeping us from being like you. You have weight loss wards where the patients are allowed to buy bags of potato chips from carts provided by the weight loss ward. But like you say, it’s a great place to live if you’re rich and segregated, just like the rest of the developing world.

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  87. Anonymous[373] • Disclaimer says:
    @Hodag
    I quit smoking pretty easily. I tried quitting caffeine. Never, never, ever am I doing that again.

    Huh? You just sleep a lot. It’s not actually unpleasant.

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  88. Addiction treatment took off here after the passage of the 2008 Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, the law that put substance abuse treatment on the same footing as other medical benefits. In 2010, the Affordable Care Act mandated that plans on its exchanges offer substance abuse benefits.

    Suddenly, millions of adults were insured and the population of people seeking treatment ballooned.

    Who profited?

    Who paid?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Brutusale
    You paid, Olly. And Sorry Charlie Baker just dunned the body politic another $110 million for junkie treatment.
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  89. @Ron Unz

    Treating drug addicts counts towards GDP, but I am not sure it increases GDP....Getting addicted to drugs also tends to cause people to become less productive or drop out of the work force entirely. This has a negative impact on GDP.
     
    Absolutely true. I was really just being a little facetious on the topic, and on the flaws of the GDP metric.

    But wouldn't one solution to the problem be to just rehabilitate current drug addicts by hiring them to counsel other current drug addicts at those drug rehabilitation centers? And if their salaries are high, then isn't their "productivity" automatically high, based on the definition of a service-industry job?

    If Drug Addict A is gainfully employed at a fairly high salary to counsel Drug Addict B (and vice-versa), then aren't both of them substantially contributing to our national per capita GDP and thus our excellent standard of living? Isn't that one of the significant flaws in the GDP calculation?

    I think the classic case is that when mothers look after their own children at home, they contribute nothing to GDP. But if they merely swap their children with their neighbors' children on a equal-paid daycare basis, they can then very substantially boost the GDP generated by every family in the country...

    I’d assume unz.com is not too impressive, GDP wise.
    (And it has addictive qualities, which don’t lead to much GDP-relevant action either (there might still be no widely accepetd cure for an unz.com addiction).
    In the end, unz.com might even distract people from doing lots of good things, GDP wise, and even you personally, Ron Unz, might rightfully be accused of subverting GDP, even.

    So – GDPcould therefor be looked upon as pretty much un-Unzian overall.

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    • LOL: Ron Unz
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  90. @Macumazahn
    I know one way to solve it - leave the addicts to their own devices.
    They'd happily kill themselves off, if only we'd let them.
    But no, now we're being told that we should all carry and administer naloxone.
    http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/priorities/opioid-overdose-prevention/naloxone-advisory.html
    Sorry, Doc Adams, but treating people who suffer from "an opioid use disorder" isn't my responsibility.

    At one point I was musing whether the toxic amounts of Fentanyl added to drugs was an Obama Fed scheme. It would kill two birds with one stone – kill off white addicts and lower medical costs.

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  91. This is genuinely the most sad and depressing thing I’ve read in a long long time. Our country – our world – is dying, and we’re just standing there watching it happen…..immobile, out of caution, lest Important People notice us with alarm.

    Usually I’m good for a cutting one-liner or two, but not this time.

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  92. @International Jew
    Ron, read up on the "broken window fallacy", and let that be your first lesson in economics.

    While he’s doing that, you can read up on “sarcasm”.

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  93. @George
    "Drug treatment does not work." OK, what works?

    Suboxone works for opiate addicts…my cousin was addicted to heroin, in and out of rehab from 1995-2009 and has been clean now but uses Suboxone daily.

    Suboxone is a medication that contains both buprenorphine and naloxone. Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist – it produces the same effects opioids do, but in a milder form. It attaches to the same brain opioid receptors, and thus eliminates withdraw…while the naloxone is an opioid antagonist. As an antagonist, the naloxone blocks opioid receptors, which prevents the body from experiencing the opioid effects…The combination is designed to discourages users abusing Suboxone, since they cannot achieve a high from the drug.

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  94. @anonymous coward

    The GDP equation is very simple:

    Consumption + Investment (spending for future production e.g. buying machine tools, not buying stocks) + Government Spending + Net Exports = GDP
     
    It's simpler than that. GDP = Debt.

    (Since all money is debt anyways.)

    It’s simpler than that. GDP = Debt

    That’s not correct.

    https://ycharts.com/indicators/us_total_debt_gdp

    The data series stops in 2015, but as you can see debt considerably exceeds GDP.

    You may be thinking of PQ = MV, a monetarist way of expressing output.

    (Since all money is debt anyways.)

    Mostly. Physical currency isn’t.

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  95. @Inquiring Mind
    Wasn't the drug treatment institution Synanon founded by a recovered alcoholic? I heard that their treatment mode was having the patients conduct Maost struggle sessions on their fellow patients, and the whole idea didn't work out over the long term.

    See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synanon

    For more about heroin addiction and Synanon see Straight Life: The Story of Art Pepper.

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  96. Anonymous[805] • Disclaimer says:

    The Eagles are the ultimate in California dreaming, a fantasy of fulfillment that has been made real only in the hip upper-middle-class suburbs of Marin County and the Los Angeles canyons. The Beach Boys sang about something similar a decade ago, but they also reminded us that happiness and material things are far from unconnected. The Eagles put that truth aside and pay only lip service to the struggle that real fulfillment involves.

    –Robert Christgau “Consumer Guide” column, Newsday, 1972

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    • Replies: @education realist
    Possibly because the Eagles weren't Californians, and the Beach Boys were.
    , @Dieter Kief
    Christgau admits that (ehh) the Eagles at least paid lip service "to real fulfillment" of the Californian Dream..

    Not being radical enough to fulfill the necessities of the pretty left leaning mindset of Bob Christgau might not be too much of an omission.

    I don't get that Christgau dind't get The Last Resort for example - or looks at this thrilling look at Purity (Jonathan Franzen) as a kind of lip-service might have to do with the fact that for leftists like him it was de rigeur at times to be an atheist, whereas the Eagles were more of the soft-machine like hippie tribe. Could well be a tribal thing at play here, if I think about it.

    (As I started reading your post, - - "Christgau's Record Guide The 80s" was on my table already, btw. - Coincidence - The Matrix - God's loving eye, the magic of books - "will the books soon start living" (Hölderlin*****...and Rilke, kinda...).

    ***** There was even a mildly successful california-influenced folkrock band called "Hölderlin" in the seventies in Germany.

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  97. @Ron Unz
    I've never taken an Economics class in my life, but doesn't the work of a drug addiction clinic count toward the GDP?

    So the more drug addicts America has, the higher our GDP numbers and the stronger our economy and per capita income looks in international rankings compared with its Chinese and Russian competitors...

    I think various famous economists have similarly pointed out that huge natural disasters or gigantic waves of arson fires are also big boosts to the GDP...

    I’ve never taken an Economics class in my life, but doesn’t the work of a drug addiction clinic count toward the GDP?

    Sure it does, if by “GDP” you mean “god damn pusher man”.

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  98. Read More
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  99. By the way, why is he Ronald Prescott Reagan? What’s up with that?

    Just how early were the Bushes involved?

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  100. @Ron Unz
    I've never taken an Economics class in my life, but doesn't the work of a drug addiction clinic count toward the GDP?

    So the more drug addicts America has, the higher our GDP numbers and the stronger our economy and per capita income looks in international rankings compared with its Chinese and Russian competitors...

    I think various famous economists have similarly pointed out that huge natural disasters or gigantic waves of arson fires are also big boosts to the GDP...

    OT:

    Our respective comment histories now are keeping up to date– after remaining static, since their restoration on the 11th– but they also now are displaying both our respective e-mail addresses and our recorded IP addresses for everyone else to see! I find this turn of events somewhat disturbing, Mr. Unz.

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  101. @Anonymous

    The Eagles are the ultimate in California dreaming, a fantasy of fulfillment that has been made real only in the hip upper-middle-class suburbs of Marin County and the Los Angeles canyons. The Beach Boys sang about something similar a decade ago, but they also reminded us that happiness and material things are far from unconnected. The Eagles put that truth aside and pay only lip service to the struggle that real fulfillment involves.
     
    --Robert Christgau "Consumer Guide" column, Newsday, 1972

    Possibly because the Eagles weren’t Californians, and the Beach Boys were.

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    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    Possibly because the Eagles weren’t Californians, and the Beach Boys were.
     
    There are few traits more typically Californian than having been born out-of-state.

    No one ever talks about a "Manhattan accent", either.

    Almost nobody:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1hrA9-6o4tI
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  102. @Anonymous

    The Eagles are the ultimate in California dreaming, a fantasy of fulfillment that has been made real only in the hip upper-middle-class suburbs of Marin County and the Los Angeles canyons. The Beach Boys sang about something similar a decade ago, but they also reminded us that happiness and material things are far from unconnected. The Eagles put that truth aside and pay only lip service to the struggle that real fulfillment involves.
     
    --Robert Christgau "Consumer Guide" column, Newsday, 1972

    Christgau admits that (ehh) the Eagles at least paid lip service “to real fulfillment” of the Californian Dream..

    Not being radical enough to fulfill the necessities of the pretty left leaning mindset of Bob Christgau might not be too much of an omission.

    I don’t get that Christgau dind’t get The Last Resort for example – or looks at this thrilling look at Purity (Jonathan Franzen) as a kind of lip-service might have to do with the fact that for leftists like him it was de rigeur at times to be an atheist, whereas the Eagles were more of the soft-machine like hippie tribe. Could well be a tribal thing at play here, if I think about it.

    (As I started reading your post, – – “Christgau’s Record Guide The 80s” was on my table already, btw. – Coincidence – The Matrix – God’s loving eye, the magic of books – “will the books soon start living” (Hölderlin*****…and Rilke, kinda…).

    ***** There was even a mildly successful california-influenced folkrock band called “Hölderlin” in the seventies in Germany.

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  103. @Clifford Brown

    I’ve always been in conflict about drug legalization.... The libertarian argument of drugs being a voluntary transaction between parties falls apart when the product takes a hold of one party’s physiology.
     
    Once addiction enters the picture, the drug trade is not a voluntary transaction. The libertarian fundamental assumption of rational individuals is flawed. Humans are neither rational, nor individuals. We are part of a complex society where people's actions are driven by many reasons, most of which are not rational. If a significant portion of your society becomes addicted to heroin (an irrational decision), best of luck having a law abiding, wealthy society.

    All libertarian premises only work in a high functioning, law abiding society.

    The compromise that I come up with in my mind...
     
    Libertarianism in a nutshell. It's all in your head, pal.

    Really don’t know how you solve it.
     
    See Singapore.

    Really don’t know how you solve it.

    See Singapore.

    I dare you to suggest this about guns:

    https://www.loc.gov/law/help/firearms-control/singapore.php

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  104. @education realist
    Possibly because the Eagles weren't Californians, and the Beach Boys were.

    Possibly because the Eagles weren’t Californians, and the Beach Boys were.

    There are few traits more typically Californian than having been born out-of-state.

    No one ever talks about a “Manhattan accent”, either.

    Almost nobody:

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    • Replies: @Neoconned
    I can tell California accents out.

    They tend to say "for sure" a lot.

    Bay Area people say rest-runt instead restaurant. They also have this twangy sort of nasal way of talking. I prefer it to Cajun mumbling or redneck bitchiness
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  105. I met this Jewish hippie girl in Denver about two years ago. She was telling me how Sedona had a “vortex” and how how Prescott had good “crystal energy”….. whatever that means…..

    Something about that region north of Phoenix…..it’s like northern California…..it draws all sorts of weirdos

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  106. @Reg Cæsar

    Possibly because the Eagles weren’t Californians, and the Beach Boys were.
     
    There are few traits more typically Californian than having been born out-of-state.

    No one ever talks about a "Manhattan accent", either.

    Almost nobody:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1hrA9-6o4tI

    I can tell California accents out.

    They tend to say “for sure” a lot.

    Bay Area people say rest-runt instead restaurant. They also have this twangy sort of nasal way of talking. I prefer it to Cajun mumbling or redneck bitchiness

    Read More
    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    Bay Area people say rest-runt instead restaurant.
     
    Do they say "neesh" instead of "nitch"? Too many people do nowadays. Which is fine-- as long as you're speaking French.

    Niche has been in the English language a lot longer than restaurant has.
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  107. @anonymous
    This is Holocaust Week. There's a Jewish TV station here in Southwest CT where it's been round-the-clock Holocaust. The Tribe is now upset at the news that so many Millenials claim to have never heard of the Holocaust. In November of this year it'll be eighty years since Kristallnacht. If they haven't heard of the The Big H before, they'll get an ear full of it then.

    By the way, loved that little "Q&A" at the end. Gotta remember that one.

    I think Sabrina Rubin Erdely and Jackie Coakley brought The Night of Broken Glass back to the modern lexicon.

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  108. @Olorin

    Addiction treatment took off here after the passage of the 2008 Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, the law that put substance abuse treatment on the same footing as other medical benefits. In 2010, the Affordable Care Act mandated that plans on its exchanges offer substance abuse benefits.

    Suddenly, millions of adults were insured and the population of people seeking treatment ballooned.
     
    Who profited?

    Who paid?

    You paid, Olly. And Sorry Charlie Baker just dunned the body politic another $110 million for junkie treatment.

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  109. I’m a long time Prescott, Az resident. This story is out of date, the city has placed restrictions on the bogus sober living homes. It is much better here now than a few years ago. Also health insurers have greatly tightened up reimbursements for this “service”.
    We still have a homeless problem here, lots of bums hang out near the courthouse square. Worse in the summer than winter.

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  110. @Paul Jolliffe
    Yup - maybe Steve has got a load of trouble on his mind.
    (Of course, it was "Jojo" who left his home in Tucson Arizona, for some California grass . . .)

    Note to Steve: That still leaves you with Sweet Loretta Martin on a corner in San Francisco from Tony Bennet’s Get Back.

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    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    I left my heart in Flagstaff, Arizona.
    Don't forget Winona,
    Kingman, Barstow, San Bernardino.
    , @Reg Cæsar

    Note to Steve: That still leaves you with Sweet Loretta Martin on a corner in San Francisco...
     
    ...or canalside in Welland or Port Colborne, Ontario:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S61cI-E24a4
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  111. @The Alarmist
    Note to Steve: That still leaves you with Sweet Loretta Martin on a corner in San Francisco from Tony Bennet's Get Back.

    I left my heart in Flagstaff, Arizona.
    Don’t forget Winona,
    Kingman, Barstow, San Bernardino.

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  112. @Neoconned
    I can tell California accents out.

    They tend to say "for sure" a lot.

    Bay Area people say rest-runt instead restaurant. They also have this twangy sort of nasal way of talking. I prefer it to Cajun mumbling or redneck bitchiness

    Bay Area people say rest-runt instead restaurant.

    Do they say “neesh” instead of “nitch”? Too many people do nowadays. Which is fine– as long as you’re speaking French.

    Niche has been in the English language a lot longer than restaurant has.

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  113. @The Alarmist
    Note to Steve: That still leaves you with Sweet Loretta Martin on a corner in San Francisco from Tony Bennet's Get Back.

    Note to Steve: That still leaves you with Sweet Loretta Martin on a corner in San Francisco…

    …or canalside in Welland or Port Colborne, Ontario:

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  114. @Ron Unz

    Treating drug addicts counts towards GDP, but I am not sure it increases GDP....Getting addicted to drugs also tends to cause people to become less productive or drop out of the work force entirely. This has a negative impact on GDP.
     
    Absolutely true. I was really just being a little facetious on the topic, and on the flaws of the GDP metric.

    But wouldn't one solution to the problem be to just rehabilitate current drug addicts by hiring them to counsel other current drug addicts at those drug rehabilitation centers? And if their salaries are high, then isn't their "productivity" automatically high, based on the definition of a service-industry job?

    If Drug Addict A is gainfully employed at a fairly high salary to counsel Drug Addict B (and vice-versa), then aren't both of them substantially contributing to our national per capita GDP and thus our excellent standard of living? Isn't that one of the significant flaws in the GDP calculation?

    I think the classic case is that when mothers look after their own children at home, they contribute nothing to GDP. But if they merely swap their children with their neighbors' children on a equal-paid daycare basis, they can then very substantially boost the GDP generated by every family in the country...

    Krugman and Bernanke are walking down the street and see a pile of dog s**t. Bernanke says “I’ll give you twenty thousand dollars to eat that pile of s**t.” Krugman does it, gets paid, and they keep on walking.

    After a while, they see another pile of s**t on the road. Seeing an opportunity for revenge, Krugman says “Tell you what, I’ll give YOU twenty grand to eat that pile of s**t.” Bernanke does it, Krugman gives him back the money, and they keep walking.

    After a while Bernanke says “I’m feeling pretty sick. We both ate s**t and neither of us is any richer.” Krugman answers “You’re missing the bigger picture. We’ve increased GDP by forty thousand dollars and created two jobs.”

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  115. @Anon
    So that’s why a new opioid epidemic among rural Whites suddenly appeared. Money can be made !!!

    I knew it was a lie when the stories began in the lugenpresse. Now I know why the stories appeared.

    The easiest way to discern if a news story is true or not, watch where it’s published.

    Off topic. Both my computer and phone are inundated ed with invitations to attend an AIPAC conference. Only $599.00 for the ticket. Maybe it’s my zip code?

    I’ve noticed that heavy AIPAC activity means just 2 things.

    1. The Israeli fund raisers are coming to town.

    2. The Israelis are planning another assault on Palestinians or using the American military to invade another nation.

    In the next few days anti Semitic graffiti will appear on the fences and walls of Jewish cemeteries community centers and schools all over town.

    What’s the marching song of the Israeli army?

    Onward Christian soldiers.

    “So that’s why a new opioid epidemic among rural Whites suddenly appeared. Money can be made !!!”

    The Sackler family (owners of Purdue Pharma, the privately-held corporation which produced and marketed Oxycontin) had a lot to do with it.

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  116. @D. K.
    I see that Dr. Armstrong is in the English Department at Purdue. A month from today, I will commemorate the 40th anniversary of my baccalaureate-- which I skipped, sleeping in at my off-campus home in West Lafayette. I was a dual major in (General) History and English at Purdue. I studied the plague in a class taught by Dr. Charles Ingrao, whom I have since seen, multiple times, on "The News Hour" on PBS, being interviewed as an expert on European history. I do not recall any courses, or even assignments, having to do with the Black Death, when I was studying English in Heavilon Hall, back in the day.

    Dr. Ingrao, whom I had for multiple courses, and who provided recommendation letters for me for both graduate school and law school, has had quite an estimable career, in the forty years since I left University Hall with my B.A. degree:

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Ingrao

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  117. Anything that the government throws money at will grow.

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