The banality of evil

Thursday, 23 January, Year 6 d.Tr. | Author: Mircea Popescu


In a memo to clients provided to Secrets, David John Marotta calculates the actual unemployment rate of those not working at a sky-high 37.2 percent, not the 6.7 percent advertised by the Fed, and the Misery Index at over 14, not the 8 claimed by the government.

Marotta, who recently advised those worried about an imploding economy to get a gun, said that the government isn't being honest in how it calculates those out of the workforce or inflation, the two numbers used to get the Misery Index figure.

“The unemployment rate only describes people who are currently working or looking for work,” he said. That leaves out a ton more.

“Unemployment in its truest definition, meaning the portion of people who do not have any job, is 37.2 percent. This number obviously includes some people who are not or never plan to seek employment. But it does describe how many people are not able to, do not want to or cannot find a way to work. Policies that remove the barriers to employment, thus decreasing this number, are obviously beneficial,” he and colleague Megan Russell in their new investors note from their offices in Charlottesville, Va.

They added that “officially-reported unemployment numbers decrease when enough time passes to discourage the unemployed from looking for work. A decrease is not necessarily beneficial; an increase is clearly detrimental.”

Her The "memo to clients provided by herpderp"... what is that?

Me A memo. What ?
Her Fuck. In that quote, it is said: "In a memo to clients provided to Secrets, David John Marotta"

Me So it is.
Her I'm asking what that is. What does "a memo" mean, who is "secrets"i, who is "david john marotta", and why is all of this said as though it should be obvious and we should take it on authority.

Me The way the world works is that people are idiots. The people that are not idiots purchase valuable goods and services, such as information. That information is packaged and sent to them, a memo is such a package. Secrets is some outlet, whatever. Marotta is some dude. All this is obvious and the questioning is obnoxious footdragging. If you have a point, state it.
Her Why isn't a PGP signed document provided in the linked text.

Me Likely because they have no idea what PGP is.
Her Who is Marotta, what are his qualifications, and where is his WoT rating?

Me He has none.
Her So some guy with a foolish nameii sold some information, which we know is true because...he sold it?

Me Some random derp is selling his clients the exact information we know is true.iii This is remarkable.
Her Ok. Ty. "Marotta, who recently advised those worried about an imploding economy to get a gun, " incidentally, do you think that's a good response?

Me Probably not. Who knows, guy made an off the cuff remark or maybe he's nuts. At any rate your average fifty year old private equity investor type is more likely to be fed his gun once shit hits the fan than use it for any useful purpose.
Her Yeah. Anyway this notion of a misery index is kinda lol. I mean someone unemployed will be equally miserable whether 2 or 50 of his peers are also poor, and those who are doing fine are doing fine. Plus people are all miserable anyway ;D

Me :P
Her I do see your point tho. Do you think the misrepresentation and futzing around with numbers to make it look like it's not as bad as it is is anything new? Or that it's particularly worse recently/obamally than at other times?

Me You familiar with the banality of evil ?
Her Not formally.

Me "Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil".
Her Aha, no.

Me Evil being new or not has really very little bearing.
Her Does that necessarily mean it has very little interest?

Me Inasmuch as we're discussing a matter of politics, ie, how irredemably evil the United States are, then not only does it have very little interest, but it can in fact only be interpreted in political terms, which is to say as a transparent attempt to mislead the discussion. Were we doing some sort of historical classification of stupidity then it would be different.
Her Okay. I didn't mean to challenge, I meant to ask from curiosity. I guess it doesn't go here.

Me Well, what is the curiosity ? Yes, criminals existed in all times and places. On occasion they manage to take over entire governments, such as was the case with nazi Germany or nazi United States. In all such cases they will claim that they weren't in fact consumately evil, but merely doing their job as best they could, and obeying the law as it was and so on. That they're banal in their absolute evil does not make their evil less absolute.
Her Whether fucking with the numbers has gotten worse over time. is it just the way people tend to operate shit, or is it a thing that has managed to not be done or at least not to much of any degree, but suddenly in our time we find it apparently raging?

Me It is the way evil people attack human society. Not a matter of "worse over time", there's no continuum at work whatsoever.
Her Aha. Sad.

Me I guess so.
Her Thank you for explaining.

  1. Washington Secrets, a Washington Examiner column by Paul Bedard []
  2. She's probably thinking of the marotte. []
  3. The inflation bit we've even recently discussed. []
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