Monday, July 9, 2012

We're Hosed. Here's Why.

Some months ago I was perusing Bayou Renaissance Man and realized I'd been reading the same three paragraphs over and over again, and my comprehension was inversely proportional to the time I'd spent reading.  Somewhat depressed, I poured another drink and found my way over to Fred Reed's little slice of Internet heaven, intent on cheering myself up.  It was there that my worst secret fear of all time was confirmed, and it has nothing to do with Main Lady's satisfaction or happiness.  Some place or other Fred observed that the average man is doing good to find his way home every night.  I tend to agree with him on a sort of intuitive 'sounds logical to me' level.  Doing a little research I was interested to discover a politically incorrect and socially insensitive chart listing IQ groups and corresponding descriptions.

I.Q. Chart
IQ Range Description of Attributes
1 to 24 Profound mental disability.  You are a permanent burden to the taxpayer, but being as bright as an ashtray has its advantages: You're drugged up all of the time without being given any drugs.  Still, as dumb as you are you have a useful purpose.  You serve as a test control subject in a 'pain stimulus versus remembered response study' funded by the government which seeks to offer conclusive proof that even a houseplant can be taught to roll over to his left side if a lit cigarette is applied to his right side.  
25 to 39 Severe mental disability.  You are a burden to the taxpayer, but you might find a position in a psyche ward someplace where you'll take part in a social experiment involving your ability to learn as compared to door stops, waste baskets and rocks.  The study is being conducted by an newly unemployed chimpanzee who up until last Monday was gainfully employed as a test subject in a racial intolerance experiment.  
40 to 54 Moderate mental disability.  When you aren't being a burden to the taxpayer, you work in the special care center as the permanent bedpan orderly's able assistant.  You get to wear the beanie copter hat while you work.  You are slowly learning not to throw feces. 
55 to 69 Mild mental disability.  You are nth generation welfare.  You are able to vote the straight Moonbat ticket unless you're convicted of a felony, in which case you vote two or three times so as to make certain your vote is counted.  You drink beer, smoke pot and are trying to save up enough money for a vacation in Florida this year but the money keeps vanishing out of the mason jar buried under the dog house.  
70 to 84 Borderline mental disability (About 20% of the population).  When unemployment is low, you can go to work at a fast food joint.  Like your neighbor mild mental disability, you are able to vote the straight Moonbat ticket, only sometimes you know the actual name of the candidate you're voting for (if the name is easy to read).  Getting your tax return is the highlight of your year.  You believe that smart people run the government, The President never lies and the policeman is your friend.
85 to 114 Average intelligence (About half of the population).  You're a moke.  The government takes your money and demands more, but you don't object beyond idle conversation at the neighborhood bar because that's just the way things are.  You'll vote for whoever the union tells you to vote for, or failing that whoever screams the loudest right before you pull the lever.  You think sitcoms are funny and you like sports and reality TV.  You may not be able to read, but if you can read you haven't read anything since you dropped out of high school.  So long as you have sex, drugs and TV you will remain functionally apathetic.  You spend time at the neighborhood bar because that's what everyone does.  You'll keep that habit up until you join the line of old guys at the bar who start drinking in the afternoon, not talking and quietly wondering why life sucks.  If you use the Internet you'll be on Facebook.
115 to 129 Above average; bright (About 20% of the population).  You're in misery.  You're bright enough to know you're on the good side of the bell curve, but you also know where you stand on that curve and it ain't far enough to the right to do you any real good in this world.  If you were dumber, you wouldn't understand that you're getting hosed by the government, large corporations and your boss.  If you were smarter you wouldn't be getting hosed as badly, and you'd be able to put the screws to some of the people making your life miserable as well as insulate yourself from most of the others.  In short, you'd be happier.  You are too bright to enjoy TV, you think most comedies aren't funny and while you don't understand classical music, fine art and live theater you enjoy these things - which makes your wife and neighbors think you're weird.  Being aware of your own situation, you sadly spend time wishing you were either dumber or smarter. You know why life sucks.
130 to 144 Moderately gifted.  You're happy to be here.  You tend to win things, like raises and promotions at work.  People like you, and while you know just how bright you are in relation to others you are bright enough to see the disadvantages on both sides of you.  Dumber-than-you is misery and the Great Unwashed.  Brighter-than-you is recognized achievement which involves a lot of work for questionable rewards.  
145 to 159 Highly gifted.  You wish you were smarter, but you aren't.  You can't identify with the losers underneath you, and you envy the really bright people above you.  You are smart enough to be a politician if you're attractive; upper management if you're not.  While you have a good life you're still dissatisfied and the envy eats away at you.  You'll likely end up developing some sort of generally neurotic behavior with psychotic episodes and a drinking problem.  You'll go on prosaic and be vaguely uncomfortable with it, but it beats reality.
160 to 179 Exceptionally gifted.  When you're sane, you're really, really bright.  You may not consider yourself bright, but you do consider other people dumb.  Really dumb.  We're talking dumber than a box of rocks.  The trouble is that you aren't wound too tight and when you come unglued you don't always know it.  So you go away for a little tune up, then you get back in action again.  You don't watch TV, although you may produce TV shows and use the medium to advance your own agenda.  You have come to understand that the regular people are dumb enough to watch TV and enjoy it, but then they also take drugs and enjoy that as well, and that's what keeps them happy.  You're not sure what keeps you happy, or even if you are happy.
180 and up Profoundly gifted.  You're lonely.  You have either developed a thick skin or you're a little nuts.  Or both.  Associating with the average person is a lot like the average person having a beer with a retard (do the math).  Most of the time you feel as though you are surrounded by howler monkeys with machetes and machine-guns.  Throwing yourself into your work provides escape.  

My point here is to provide a little diversion and entertainment for you (the reader) at the expense of those less fortunate than either one of us, as well as hammering home the point Fred made - that the average man (or woman or teenager of either sex) is doing well to find his way home every night.

Consider that if you're reading this literary work, you are not average.  If you were tested you'd fall into the above average group at a minimum, and you might be even smarter than that.  Why?  Because you're literate.  You can read and comprehend what you've read, and that includes some degree of understanding about abstract ideas, problems and philosophies.  You know the world isn't black and white, even in extreme cases.  You can appreciate the fact that actions result in ramifications.

So when Peter over at Bayou Renaissance Man observed that the U.S. economy sucked pond scum but that Europe was in worse shape, it was hardly news.  Then Peter published a series of articles explaining just why this was so and how it came to happen.  Take a look as it amuses you to do so.

Where did all that debt come from?, Part 1
Where did all that debt come from?, Part 2
Where did all that debt come from?, Part 3
More about derivatives
The latest economic news
Europe: Embrace the (financial) suck!

I've read these articles and I still do not understand, absolutely cold, just exactly how all this came about.  I'm in better shape than I was, but I'm still not well versed enough to talk about the topic with any degree of assurance.  I sure as hell don't know what can be done to solve the problem.

Now, Mom didn't raise no genius, but she didn't raise no dummy either, and although I was born at night, it wasn't last night.  If my understanding of the economic crises is less than stellar, do you really think that the average man understands any of this?  Do you think the average man even cares?  Do you think the average man votes?

So we've got roughly 70% of the population voting, or at least able to vote, for our elected officials.  That leaves the 10% at the bottom who will vote by absentee ballot and the 20% at the top who may or may not be voting at all, and while this group is capable of understanding the economic crises they may not have taken the time to educate themselves - because it does require time and effort - or they may have just looked around and decided that their own, personal single vote doesn't matter.

This is just the voters I'm talking about here.  The elected officials have done nothing more than win a popularity contest, and to do that all they've had to do is scream louder and more frequently than their opponent.  They have to look a little better too, but these things can be fixed.  Our elected officials don't understand the economic crises either, but every single one of them has a plan to deal with it: Get re-elected.

That's the most important item on their agenda, all the time, every single time.  Get re-elected and everything else will just have to work itself out.  Up until recently, everything else did work itself out.  Sort of.  Except now it isn't.

Fred wrote We Are Screwed - A Thought Possibly Not Unique to Fred and is much more prophetic and accurate than he ever intended to be.  We truly are hosed.  Our civil rights are vanishing, police departments are becoming more militarized every day and next month the almighty U.S. dollar may not be worth the paper it's printed on.  Our political leaders continue the cacophony of political advertisements and press releases, and become just a little further removed from reality every single day.

I really do not know what the future holds, but it isn't looking too good from here.

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