The principal-agent problem, or how America went away
The exact pinpointing of when VHS-America ended, to be replaced with the current lulz is rather a point of irrelevant minutia, even if it may be an enjoyable pastime. The understanding of how exactly it happened, of the mechanism of decay involved is however instructive not to mention outright habilitating. So let's review this wonder that briefly was, for the sake of future wonders we'll produce, in the hope thus they'll ever be.
The origins of America are quite recent : at the time Alexander Hamilton was penning his Observations..., America was actually less, in comparative terms, as a percentage of the entire world, than The Most Serene Republici is today, and its potentialii by comparison minuscule. It is the nature of human naivete to hallucinateiii anachronisms all over the place, but as a factual matteriv had Bitcoin existed in 1818 America would not have been worth a thousand, and you could very likely have bought it all for less.
From that sorry initial state, because supported by sound ideology, America expanded at an incrediblev rate over a century, which is to say four or five generations. Towards the end of this interval, the last great generation of Americans, the people who had created "the Gilded Age" were coming to an end, and for the first time in the history of America replacements were not forthcoming. The discussion of why exactlyvi they weren't forthcoming will not find its place here ; and since you lack proper knowledge of the topicvii we shall proceed through the more accessible venue of expertly selected cinemaviii.
So, have you seen Cat on a hot tin roof ? Big Daddy, a man from an earlier time, had madeix the greatest farm this side of the river Nile, and bought from Europe, that "great open air market", whatever useless junk his wife stuffed in his basement. His son, Brick Pollitt, is a drunk of a little boy, hanging up on his friends, and on his wife, and on life.
But tell me, have you seen Ragtime (Samuel L. Jackson's first American film ; or Jeff Daniels', if you prefer) ? Harry Kendall Thaw may well be the inheritor of a Pittsburgh rail & coal fortune, but he's certainly not the man to carry it forward, contrary to what the Sob Sisters would have loved to make you believe.
Big Daddy Pollitt and William Thaw Sr.x didn't go around on crutches or brawling over preteen pussy ; the very sharp "you, what's your name" is redolent of exactly what she, what's her name failed to pass along into Brick : the useful portion of the alpha malexi. Their sad descendants, though maybe prettier than Greek gods through the virtues of improved childhood nutritionxii, nevertheless suffer under the burdens of horrid parentingxiii and so... well ? Something will have to be done.
Big Daddy is dying ; William Thaw is dying. There's farms and banks and railroads and other things to run. What do ? Williams' tzadik fiction has Brick somehow magically rise up and assume the crown, a fiction that works exactly like porn works : by carefully not showing us what happens after, or presenting any meaningful mechanism whatsoever. He just downloads the required kungfu from god directly upon assumption, what, problem ? It's the movies after all.
But what if it weren't the movies ? How does it work when it isn't the movies ? The collected "family" surviving the patriarch, composed as it is of Brick and Gooper sheepishly following the lead of Maggie and Mae (who neither want to, who both would much rather other things with better men, but who both also perceive they have no choice in the matter -- as indeed they don't) sit around and can't, on their own power, sort the comparatively simple problem of property. They need outside help to do that much, which is to say that very, very little. Solving the problems that Big Daddy solved while he lived is so far above their paygrade it's not even representable in their system. Yet those problems don't go away just because Big Daddy did. They remain behind, one can't ever take anything with him out of this world.
The only known solution to this problem is captured in the title : the principal-agent relationship. You might know, even if the odds are you do not know, who Dinu Paturica was, and how he and Didina aimed to make a life for themselves. If you do not, which is excusable even if it hurts you, you might perhaps know who Pepin the Short was, and why and wherefore the erstwhile Count of Paris and Chamberlain of the Palace became king of France. Or you might've read about Eugenie Grandet and her vintner father, or else maybe the Merchant of Venice ? But you don't really need any priors to understand the simple fact : wealth, in the strict sense of "controling future activity" will pass from the dead hand to the active hand. If it's not done violently, as in the assumption of the Roman empire by the Visigoths (and then everyone else -- not merely the Germans had a "Roman" emperor but so did the Russians, and the Turks!) it will still be done. How will it be done ?
The agent-principal relationship! That's how it will be done. The inept clan of idiots left behind by Big Daddy will... a) list the "company" incorporated as an attempt to preserve his legacy on "the stock exchange" and b) hire some young dicklet to "manage" it for them.
You understand what this is ? Big Daddy had no need of such a thing as a) above, it wasn't meaningful for him. He knew what was going on. The successors, those who do not know actually need the crates and the labels, to them the contents is not meaningful of and by itself, certainly not enough to be recognizable as content or non-content by its simple examination. They need liminal barriers and labels to make (some semblance of) sense out of the jumble. It's a purely archeological approach, they're not building anything but merely trying to preserve.
As to the agent... his interests are very much not aligned with theirs. He wants to take as much for himself -- as well is his right, and as exactly is proper. They should have nothing, and he should have it all. But here is the barb of womanly "civilisation" : he's not "supposed" to. Why not, you aim to ask ? Ask rather why this imbecile aims to "raise servant leaders" and the matter should be plain before your eyes : she's lazy and dumb, and seeks to protect herself from her more active, intelligent daughters. She "knows" without knowing that the missing ingredient for those to amount to anything is a competent Master in whose hand to thrive, and so she cucks all the little boys she can find as soon as she can find them. It's a simple if despicable strategy.
So instead of doing the right thing and simply assuming their proper position, the "agents" are stuck doing a complicatedxiv dance through which to steal the shebang while leaving behind the appearance, in the manner of termitesxv. Year after year this proceeded, and the gulf between book value and actual value ever grew, to the point that in the 1970s the cost to carry any property on corporate books had ballooned to such an extent, divesting out of America and into Asia appeared as the correct choice. It was.xvi
That's the mechanism by which America ended : that the Dinu Paturica whom the empress Irinaxvii fucks has no interest in her perpetuation, and in the process of her disenfranchisement he first calls ten loaves twelve, then later counts two for every present loaf, then even later there's one loaf present per dozen counted and then so following. Why did you think the hospital aspirin costs 10 bucks a pill ?
And you want to Make America Great Again, you say. It can't be done, America has long ago been replaced with the US, and this is not reversible. The America you're looking for is called TMSR today, get with the programme.———
- By the way, if your name is Matthew, do stop to consider that Republican literature is a whole lot more reliable, accurate and truthful than Imperial literature -- a point ironically proven by the attempt to categorically reject the former on the basis of its unimperial origin rather than substantive discussion. [↩]
- Something piously & affectionately referred to by Fanboi Buffett as "unlimited", though evidently unlike the Republic America actually has borders, try as it might to pretend that it doesn't. [↩]
- They are hallucinated, and especially by the orc mind. They're thinking "Oh, American tourists are rich!!!" and therefore imagine America of a coupla centuries ago as some sort of wonder of might and power like they had in Europe throughout. This is in point of fact how the lottery winner thinks, "because I am a millionaire now, therefore I wasn't a dumb fuck an hour ago when I hadn't two pennies to rub together, and therefore my ideas of an hour ago are good and right and proper and useful". It doesn't work out in practice for the lottery winner, nor does it obviate the strict truth that while Europe always had might and power, America (as the continent) never did -- the original Boston was eaten by fucking wolves, something unheard in Europe since at least three millenia ago, which is to say once iron was introduced and put to its first and to date principal use : teh Wolfsangel (you probably know it as the letter Z). [↩]
- You understand that early "presidents" ate at the restaurant if some European friend with actual money invited them to and not otherwise, yes ? You understand what Jefferson was actually after, yes ? [↩]
- Depends what your standard for incredulity is. Let's just say that every generation properly regarded its production as a supermajority of the collected everything that came before. This is a state of major disruption, rarely encountered in human history, and so perhaps merits the epithet.
On the other hand, if you stop to consider that within TMSR this situation has occured every single year since its inception, that at the end of 2013 we could look back and see that all of 2013 was a lot more than half the sum of 2012-2013, and then at the end of 2014 we could look back and see that all of 2014 was again more than half of the 2012-2014 collection, and then at the end of 2015 we could also look back and see that it too had been more than half the 2012-2015 accumulation, and yet again at the end of 2016 we did, if memory serves, look back and found that indeed 2016 was by itself more than half the whole 2012-2016 pile, and today, as we look back over 2017 we again find the same fact : that half of everything was made last year.
In short, what may or may not seem believable is very much a function of one's own experience, and so let's not quibble over it. [↩]
- The linked item attempts an early pantsuit rewrite in the typical vein -- supposedly some sort of mystical disenchantment in the children brought about by their mother's enslavement were the cause of their poor performance (and only to be cured by making the cunt into the head of all households, of course). While this nonsense is a common pantsuit theme, insistently and ubiquitously repeated, the completely sufficient and obviously correct explanation is that sooner or later extensive expansion will have to give way to intensive expansion, and then once the low hanging fruit are picked longer and ever more elaborate stairwells are required to continue picking, resulting eventually in that situation where the capital cost of equipment exceeds the production of that equipment over an arbitrary interval. There's no way out of this bind (certainly nonsense of this sort will not be entertained, I don't care that pantsuit consensus is rather leaning that way), and specifically the overburdening of women with weighs above their carry capacity certainly won't fix the fundamental problem. [↩]
- Which you are very much encouraged to develop for yourself -- if for no other reason then simply to check this article -- and then proceed to see which parts of what I say stand or don't stand in that light, and most importantly -- what this says about the article and the light!, because odds are you'll discover you had misunderstood something, as per usual. This is how an education is acquired, after all. [↩]
- It's an illusion, all this, of course, a grandiose show of light caught between smoke and mirrors. Of course ~I~ can pick which films to pick, and stand with them ; but the apparent ease of the process hides the massive piles of thought that went into building the sorting trees on which it all relies, or as the man said, "Actually, you were asking me to design a logotype which would have taken me a few hours and fifteen years experience." [↩]
- That's right, made. Now go pack my lunches. [↩]
- Born 1818, dead 1890, a fine example as he happens to straddle the period. William Thaw started as a clerk (like the kids in, say, Hello Dolly) in the bank where his father worked -- the United States Bank of Philadephia, on 420 Chestnut Street, mostly invented and run by Nicholas Biddle (in a building by Strickland). The father in question, one John Thaw, was actually sent from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh to open a branch of the bank, carefully saved his stock warrants and thereby started a major capitalist dynasty (they're like hasidic courts, basically).
William Thaw managed transportation and finance for a large chunk of period America, most notably contributed to the decision to switch from canals to railroad (this was a fundamental design decision at the time, exactly like, say, our decision to drop C for Ada), and eventually croaked (in Paris, see?), never to be replaced. [↩]
- Brick Pollitt, you see, also asks his woman what's her name to leave him the fuck alone -- but in his case, it's to drink. [↩]
- Sadly I can't find anymore the spot where it is said that the father's only responsibility to his daughter is to to stuff a pound of raw prime beef down her throat every day and naught else, so it will have to be restated. Protein makes the girl tall, and strong, and her spine sway elegantly and her tits big and her hips heavy and everything else. Feed her protein abundantly and let her be ; there's naught else you could do to compensate for not doing this capital and most important duty.
Incidentally, it was found twenty minutes after I complained : Genetics proposes, the environment disposes. [↩]
- The notes on parenting are a must-read here. [↩]
- And utterly corrupting. They will never be able to properly stand up to actual men for the very reason of having spent their formative years involved in this sort of pidosnic nonsense. [↩]
- If you imagine that "public opinion" will "prevent corporate theft" you've not understood the basics. Public opinion works in that manner only if the public doesn't consist of those who are doing the thieving. If everyone in this "public opinion" of yours is the CEO of some kind of corporation, they're not going to prevent any theft, they're just going to organize into a thieving combine and leave you behind. They don't even have to want to in order to do this, or indeed even understand that's what they're doing. Optionality exists where it exists, not where you prefer to hallucinate it. [↩]
- I don't think you can compare 1980s China (or, to some extent, India) with today's. You're probably wont to engage the same anachronism-secreting glands and imagine some kind of similarity, but no, nothing of the kind. The 1980s director of the Nanking nuclear physics research institute couldn't afford a hotel stay and dared not eat a second plum at the formal dinner table. Their whole 1987 GDP was barely a quarter trillion, that's less than a coupla hundy per capita. [↩]
- Do you know of this character, the woman who blinded her own son so she could continue regent ? [↩]