Category: Economics

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 7:06 am

“The government’s greatest power to change the landscape isn’t with bulldozing or bombs, it’s the ability to transform nature into squares, with a simple stroke of the pen.” – Noah Caldwell-Gervais, The Lincoln Highway: Across America on the First Transcontinental Motor Route

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 7:04 am

“Sometimes I’m grateful that no one uses my washcloth. And that I can go to the store and buy brand new sponges at any time . . .” – Lydia Davis, “March, Excerpts from a Journal, January to June, 1997 ” (ellipsis and emphasis in original)

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 7:14 am

“To work for crumbs or to keep from the lash says maybe a slave’s what you are.” – David Milch and Regina Corrado, “I Am Not the Fine Man You Take Me For,” Deadwood

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 7:20 am

“No nation is rich enough or productive enough to supply and maintain battlefronts where there is no longer a battle.” – War Department “Reports on Overseas Construction” (quoted by Richard M. Leighton and Robert W. Coakley, Global Logistics and Strategy: 1940-1943)

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 8:30 am

“During the first nineteen months of its participation in World War II, the U.S. Army purchased almost 950,000 trucks, nineteen times the number it had procured during the corresponding period of World War I. From Pearl Harbor to V-J Day it procured for its own and Allied forces some 84,000 tanks, 2.2 million trucks, 6.2 million rifles, 350,000 artillery pieces, .5 billion rounds of ground artillery ammunition, 41 billion rounds of small arms ammunition. It shipped overseas 127 million measurement tons of cargo, and 7.3 million troops and other passengers.” – Richard M. Leighton and Robert W. Coakley, Global Logistics and Strategy: 1940-1943

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 7:02 am

“Any politician should be put in jail who votes for an appropriation bill and fails to vote the tax to pay for it.” – Lt. Gen. George S. Patton, Jr.

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 7:40 am

“The early Christians were (in the strictly technical sense) communists, as the book of Acts quite explicitly states. If these are indeed the Last Days, as James says—if everything is now seen in the light of final judgment—then storing up possessions for ourselves is the height of imprudence. And I imagine this is also why subsequent generations of Christians have not, as a rule, been communists: the Last Days are in fact taking quite some time to elapse, and we have families to raise in the meantime.” – Richard Bentley Hart, “Introduction” to The New Testament: A Translation (emphasis in original)

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 7:43 am

“At the end of the day, it’s cheaper to be a good person.” – Justin King, “Let’s talk about Tennessee, the ACLU, and $500,000 . . .,” February 10, 2024

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 6:51 am

“An important factor enabling the Soviets to seize the offensive and retain it is Lend-Lease. Lend-Lease food and transport particularly have been vital factors in Soviet success. Combat aircraft, upon which the Soviet Air Forces relied so greatly, have been furnished in relatively great numbers (11,300 combat planes received). Should there be a full stoppage it is extremely doubtful whether Russia could retain efficiently her all-out offensive capabilities. Even defensively the supply of Lend-Lease food and transport would play an extremely vital role. It amounts to about a million tons a year. If Russia were deprived of it, Germany could probably still defeat the U.S.S.R. Lend-Lease is our trump card in dealing with U.S.S.R. and its control is possibly the most effective means we have to keep the Soviets on the offensive in connection with the second front.” – General George C. Marshall, from a memorandum to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, March 31, 1944

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 8:00 am

“Arms races are a fact of global life. The first guns had been invented in about 1290, when the Chinese learned how to harness the propulsive powers of gunpowder. Yet the business of armaments grew and prospered much more rapidly in the West than in the East. The reason, William McNeill theorizes, can be summed up in a single word: capitalism. In the market-based economies of the West, there was ample incentive for craftsmen to continuously improve weapons for wealthy and impatient kings. The Chinese, while innovative in the laboratory, lacked the entrepreneurial urge that sparked so much Western achievement. Chinese culture in these early centuries taught that the concentration of too much money in too few private hands was immoral. Gunmakers in the West, bound by no such scruples, got down to work. The perfecting of deadly weapons held the promise of a big payday.” – Julia Keller, Mr. Gatling’s Terrible Marvel

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 7:25 am

“The surest way to becoming a doctor in the 1840s? Start calling yourself ‘Doctor.’ Indeed, one of the most famous ‘doctors’ of the nineteenth century, the man who made a fortune selling patent medicine, was Lucius S. Comstock of New York. His credentials consisted entirely of having pasted ‘M.D.’ to the end of his name. Later, for good measure, Comstock threw in a bogus law degree, too.” – Julia Keller, Mr. Gatling’s Terrible Marvel

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 6:52 am

“To the New England mind, roads, schools, clothes, and a clean face were connected as part of the law of order or divine system. Bad roads meant bad morals.” – Henry Adams, The Education of Henry Adams

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 8:02 am

“If a country can be said to possess a soul, then America’s is the patent system: the simple, fair method of staking claim to a new idea and getting the chance to make money from it.” – Julia Keller, Mr. Gatling’s Terrible Marvel

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 7:32 am

“The wealthy and the powerful aren’t just wealthy and powerful; they follow a different sort of norms and mores. When you go from working-class to professional-class, almost everything about your old life becomes unfashionable at best or unhealthy at worst.” – J. D. Vance, Hillbilly Elegy

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 7:41 am

“Working as a cashier turned me into an amateur sociologist. A frenetic stress animated so many of our customers. One of our neighbors would walk in and yell at me for the smallest of transgressions—not smiling at her, or bagging the groceries too heavy one day or too light the next. Some came into the store in a hurry, pacing between aisles, looking frantically for a particular item. But others waded through the aisles deliberately, carefully marking each item off of their list. Some folks purchased a lot of canned and frozen food, while others consistently arrived at the checkout counter with carts piled high with fresh produce. The more harried a customer, the more they purchased precooked or frozen food, the more likely they were to be poor. And I knew they were poor because of the clothes they wore or because they purchased their food with food stamps.” – J. D. Vance, Hillbilly Elegy

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 7:01 am

“There is nothing lower than the poor stealing from the poor. It’s hard enough as it is. We sure as hell don’t need to make it even harder on each other.” – Bonnie Blanton (as quoted by J. D. Vance in Hillbilly Elegy)

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 7:01 am

“We were proved right. It didn’t seem to matter.” – Dr. Kate Marvel, “I’m a Climate Scientist. I’m not Screaming Into the Void Anymore”

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 7:56 am

“Extreme poverty and homelessness exemplify ways in which American society fails to provide minimal support for many of its citizens and, as a result, indirectly maltreats large numbers of children.” – John M. Briere, Child Abuse Trauma: Theory and Treatment of the Lasting Effects

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 7:21 am

“The great highways streamed with moving people. There in the Middle and Southwest had lived a simple agrarian folk who had not changed with industry, who had not farmed with machines or known the power and danger of machines in private hands. They had not grown up in the paradoxes of industry. Their sense were still sharp to the ridiculousness of the industrial life. And then suddenly the machines pushed them out and they swarmed on the highways. The movement changed them; the highways, the camps along the road, the fear of hunger and the hunger itself, changed them. They were migrants. And the hostility changed them, welded them, united them—hostility that made the little towns group and arm as though to repel an invader, squads with pick handles, clerks and storekeepers with shotguns, guarding the world against their own people. In the West there was panic when the migrants multiplied on the highways. Men of property were terrified for their property, Men who had never been hungry saw the eyes of the hungry. Men who had never wanted anything very much saw the flare of want in the eyes of the migrants. And the men of the towns and of the soft suburban country gathered to defend themselves; and they reassured themselves that they were good and the invaders bad.” – John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 10:09 am

“Social class is probably the single most important variable in society. From womb to tomb, it correlates with almost all other social characteristics of people that we can measure. Affluent expectant mothers are more likely to get prenatal care, receive current medical advice, and enjoy general health, fitness, and nutrition. Many poor and working-class mothers-to-be first contact the medical profession in the last month, sometimes the last hours, of their pregnancies. Rich babies come out healthier and weighing more than poor babies. The infants go home to very different situations. Poor babies are more likely to have higher levels of poisonous lead in their environments and their bodies. Rich babies get more time and verbal interaction with their parents and higher quality day care when not with their parents. When they enter kindergarten, and through the twelve years that follow, rich children benefit from suburban schools that spend two to three times as much money per student as schools in inner cities or impoverished rural areas. Poor children are taught in classes that are often 50 percent larger than the classes of affluent children.” – James W. Loewen, Lies My Teacher Told Me

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 6:19 am

“Driving across the US this summer, from Brooklyn to Santa Barbara, in my hot rod – okay, with a six week pause in Denver; and up and down California, coastal and inland, just now; I have learned the following about our imperiled democracy:
Everyone under age 60 has a tattoo.
Nearly everyone under age 60 – and also over 60, though for different reasons, depending on age group – has blue hair; or pink hair; or green hair; or corn rows; or dreadlocks.
I saw more gender-queer people in Utah than I have ever seen in Brooklyn.
The cars lacquered with Trumpy stickers are not beaters picked up at police auctions – they’re big expensive Jeeps and $50,000 ATVs.
People with nowhere to live except the sidewalk, the park, the doorway, the parking lot, the freeway underpass, are everywhere, and are perhaps the most unifying presence in America – the population and problem that links Madison Avenue to Main Street. We are a country undivided in the following: everyone likes to have people around who are living openly in desperate poverty on your doorstep. Democrats love this as much as Republicans; Richy Rich loves it as much as the-struggling-middle-class. If we’re addicted to fossil fuels (I am!), we’re also addicted to the need to have unhoused people in our communities.
Women over age 60 are our genealogists and historians and record keepers in smalltown libraries and historic societies everywhere. A lot of them are Mormons!
Everyone in America knows, is related to, works with or for, has shared bathrooms with, loves, is raising, orders coffee from, is neighbors with, is married to a transgender person.
I don’t know what Ron DeSantis and his pack of neo-Nazis and conservative evangelical Christians are on about. Good grief. As the LGBTQ community said to Anita Bryant in the 1970s when she was worrying that homosexuals were corrupting her children:
“We are your children.”
The USA’s in bad shape, climate wise – to quote stand-up comedian Naomi Ekperigin, “This would be the part in the movie where America coughs into a rag and then pulls it away and sees blood.”
But the things that are not a problem are: queer kids. Critical Race Theory. History! Facts.
Weirdos and aging punk rockers and whiteguys with Walt Whitman beards on motorcycles zipping past you on the Hollywood Freeway.
Everybody in America knows somebody weird; is weird; and this bullshit that the GOP is feeding us about how difference is destroying America – is just utter bullshit. I can’t believe that more than 12 people believe it. Look around, motherfuckers. Half the people you know are letting their freak flag fly, and the other half are sticking a US flag on their back and pretending it means they’re “normal.”
The new normal is: there’s no normal!
It’s hard to think about how to deal with 106° weather in Arizona for weeks. Way easier to get upset that your kid’s reading a book.
What else?
The country is beautiful! The landscape. OMeffingG. The industrial waste just as beautiful as the Utah desert.
Nothing I said is true of Carson City, Nevada, though! There are always exceptions. . .
Dogs are everywhere.
Every conceivable kind of dog.”
– John Weir, Facebook, August 13, 2023

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 8:23 am

“‘Come, let’s argue then,’ said Prince Andrew, ‘You talk of schools,’ he went on, crooking a finger, ‘education and so forth; that is, you want to raise him’ (pointing to a peasant who passed by them taking off his cap) ‘from his animal condition and awaken in him spiritual needs, while it seems to me that animal happiness is the only happiness possible, and that is just what you want to deprive him of. I envy him, but you want to make him what I am, without giving him my means. Then you say, “lighten his toil.” But as I see it, physical labor is as essential to him, as much a condition of his existence, as mental activity is to you or me. You can’t help thinking. I go to bed after two in the morning, thoughts come and I can’t sleep but toss about till dawn, because I think and can’t help thinking, just as he can’t help plowing and mowing; if he didn’t, he would go to the drink shop or fall ill. Just as I could not stand his terrible physical labor but should die of it in a week, so he could not stand my physical idleness, but would grow fat and die. The third thing—what else was it you talked about?’ and Prince Andrew crooked a third finger. ‘Ah, yes, hospitals, medicine. He has a fit, he is dying, and you come and bleed him and patch him up. He will drag about as a cripple, a burden to everybody, for another ten years. It would be far easier and simpler for him to die. Others are being born and there are plenty of them as it is. It would be different if you grudged losing a laborer—that’s how I regard him—but you want to cure him from love of him. And he does not want that. And besides, what a notion that medicine ever cured anyone! Killed them, yes!’ said he, frowning angrily and turning away from Pierre.” – Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace (trans. Louise and Aylmer Maude)

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 8:02 am

“To an imagination of any scope the most far-reaching form of power is not money, it is the command of ideas.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., “The Path of the Law”

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 6:27 am

“The Supreme Court’s decision to block student loan forgiveness is a reminder that the crimes of the rich are more readily absolved than the debts of the poor.” – Trevor Jackson, “The Unforgiven”

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 6:42 am

“The more clearly you picture the history of life as an unbroken series of ecosystems, and not just a line of related species, the more clearly you understand the tragedy of what we’re doing to Earth, the consequences of depleting the planet we like to claim we’ve inherited.” – Verlyn Klinkenborg, “What Were Dinosaurs For?”

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 6:39 am

“In social feasts, and deeds of hospitality, no nation upon earth was ever more liberal and abounding. To refuse admitting under your roof any man whatsoever, is held wicked and inhuman. Every man receives every comer, and treats him with repasts as large as his ability can possibly furnish. When the whole stock is consumed, he who has treated so hospitably guides and accompanies his guest to the next house, though neither of them invited. Nor avails it, that they were not; they are there received, with the same frankness and humanity. Between a stranger and an acquaintance, in dispensing the rules and benefits of hospitality, no difference is made. Upon your departure, if you ask anything, it is the custom to grant it; and with the same facility, they ask of you. In gifts they delight, but neither claim merit from what they give, nor own any obligation for what they receive. Their manner of entertaining their guests is familiar and kind.” – Tacitus, Tacitus on Germany (trans. Thomas Gordon)

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 5:58 am

“People’s lives today are filled with vice and the trappings of it. Ambition, greed and selfishness all have to do with vice. Sooner or later, you have to see through it or you don’t survive. We don’t see the people that vice destroys. We just see the glamour of it—everywhere we look, from billboard signs to movies, to newspapers, to magazines. We see the destruction of human life.” – Bob Dylan (interviewed by Robert Love in “Bob Dylan His Way,” 2015)

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 6:06 am

“It is a vast achievement, the surest ideal, perhaps, to render the condition of men a little less servile, a little less painful; but let the mind detach itself for an instant from material results, and the difference between the man who marches in the van of progress and the other who is blindly dragged at its tail ceases to be very considerable.” – Maurice Maeterlinck, The Life of the Bee

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 6:14 am

“It is from great foolishness that persons blinded by love of wealth always desire to make a partition of their patrimony. After effecting a partition they fight with each other, deluded by wealth. Then again, enemies in the guise of friends cause estrangements between ignorant and selfish men after they become separated in wealth, and pointing out faults confirm their quarrels, so that the latter soon fall one by one. Absolute ruin very soon overtakes the separated.” – The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Vol. I, Astika Parva of the Adi Parva, trans. Pratap Chandra Roy

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 6:06 am

“The morality that Puritanism preached was precisely the outlook needed for the accumulation of capital and expansion of capitalism. The emphasis was on thrift, sobriety, hard work in the station to which God had called a man; on unceasing labour in whatever calling, merchant or artisan, one happened to be, but with no extravagant enjoyment of the fruits of labour, and unceasing preoccupation with duty to the detriment of ‘worldly’ pleasure. The wealthy were to accumulate capital, the poor to labour at their tasks – as a divine duty and always under the ‘great Task-master’s’ eye. This belief inspired the bourgeoisie to remodel society in the divinely ordained fashion God’s ‘elect,’ and if that fashion bore a striking resemblance to the capitalist system, they were ever more fervently convinced that they were doing the work of God and that ultimate victory was both predestined and assured.” – Christopher Hill, The English Revolution 1640