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  • Scrooge McDuck

    Posted by Assistant Village Idiot on March 19th, 2020 (All posts by )

    Brought over from Assistant Village Idiot. I am bringing over about one out of five this week, more than my usual one out of ten.


    A young friend among my wife’s FB friends posted a  meme about blank supermarket shelves, comparing the empty shelves of socialism, which conservatives decry, and “late-stage-capitalism” empty shelves during the TP-and-disposable-wipes crisis of 2020.  He did not say that this proved equivalency, merely noting that he had seen the two posted near each other in some way online.  He is a polite young man, a middle-school teacher whose wife is homeschooling, and I think he doesn’t want to offend.  I have seen other posts that suggest he is very sympathetic to socialism.

    His first two commenters, both also young, were thorough opposites.  The first noted that under capitalism, the shelves would be restocked tomorrow. I thought that an efficient argument, and am grateful that there are young people who can manage such things on short notice.  The other made the comparison that “if you don’t like people hoarding toilet paper, then imagine how much damage it does when an extremely small fraction of the world’s population hoards so much of its wealth.” I am no longer on FB and don’t like to drag my wife into such discussions, so I wrote nothing.  I did begin to think about what, exactly, I might theoretically say, reasoning that I might have to answer this in some context sometime.  The first young man got in very quickly, while I was looking at the page:  “Hoarding.  lol”

    I thought that similarly efficient.  That is the key problem. I should research who that young man is and put his name forward as someone we should elect to something. Except politics would be a waste for him. Perhaps I should sneak over and just let him know I’m impressed. He may need encouragement.  There is a sizable group who thinks that the wealthy are in some sense hoarding, a good communist accusation that is thoroughly inaccurate. The mental picture is of Scrooge McDuck.

    (embedded gif of Scrooge McDuck diving into a pile of gold coins)

    via GIPHY

    I suggest that this is not just a humorous exaggeration on my part. They may be sophisticated enough to think that it is in bank accounts (Narrator: It’s not in bank accounts), or in stocks or property (not in the usual sense, no), but they still think that it is sitting somewhere, not doing any real work.  Their picture is that other people have paid money into their various accounts, and this could be readily disbursed to others, if we could just pry it loose.  That it might be the estimated value of a company that is employing people and providing a service or product others are interested in does not enter into their imagination.

    For those who think I am being unfair to such folks – let us call them Bernie Bros, though the thinking permeates even the more reasonable Democrats like Yang – please notice he wrote “hoarding.”  I didn’t make him say that.  He thinks that.  And I have heard such things enough times that I feel confident they are a significant portion of the Democratic Party.  Are they a majority?  A significant minority?  Only 20% of that group?  It doesn’t matter. This is a sizable group that is batshit crazy and they have power.  (They don’t think they have power because they do not relent until they have control, and then move the goalposts until they have even greater power. I gather that even the Scandinavians outside the major cities have had just about enough.)

    It will be argued that plenty of Democrats believe in capitalism.  Look at Hunter Joe Biden, of Dunder-Mifflin fame.  John Kerry liked capitalism well enough to marry it.  Bill and Hillary Clinton, Al Gore, Barack Obama – all of them started out with deep suspicions of capitalism but came to love it.  Notice that they like the old-fashioned plutocrat capitalism part, not the free market per se.  But still, it’s not really socialism, except as a hybrid. Jimmy Carter was a medium-sized business owner, and that may have provided the reasonable grounding he maintained, even as his hatred of conservatives became more fevered and fanatic.  Bloomberg likes that brand of capitalism as well.  Yes, yes, there are many who try to keep a foot in both canoes.

    So what? There are enough crazies that they have to be accounted for at this point.  It’s not like 1992 when Bill and Hillary could sell themselves as this modern, draft-dodging, Fleetwood Mac, marijuana-brownie-eating sexual-equality* couple, keeping all the Wall Street Democrats chuckling into their sleeves in the background. (See also Obama, Barack.) Carthago delenda est! (Gore was the man from Carthage, btw.  The irony is delicious.)

    (Video of lots of Hillary and Bill stills with “Stand By Your Man” playing in the background.)


    5 Responses to “Scrooge McDuck”

    1. Mike K Says:

      The “Pile of Gold” concept of wealth is common on the left. I have kids on both sides and have seen it.

      I guess I did not do a good enough job teaching them but half are conservative.

      Random series, I guess.

    2. PubliusII Says:

      Re: Scrooge McDuck’s pile o’ coins: A defining characteristic of the Left is that they have no understanding of how economies actually work. This happens because they are not really interested in knowing it. What they truly crave is power, so they can command obedience by those they view as, well, deplorable.

    3. pouncer Says:

      Mike K says: The “Pile of Gold” concept of wealth is common on the left.

      Common along all points of the compass, I’d say. A pile of stuff, a treasure, “wealth” in general, tends to be represented in our folklore in several ways: a pirate’s chest, a dragon’s hoard, a miser’s counting house, Ali Baba’s thieves’ cave of boodle, the Potter family gold in the Goblin Gringott’s Bank … These all have traits that imply:

      The wealth was not rightly acquired, but accumulated from many rightful owners. The dragon destroyed the village, the pirate looted many merchant ships, the robber baron took tolls on all river traffic…

      The wealth is not rightly used but is held — often hidden away — in a cave or buried on the deserted island or stacked in the high tower …

      The wealth, though not rightly held, nevertheless can’t be rightly restored to rightful owners. The ships have sunk, the families died with no survivors, the records are old and the documents have rotted. The claims on the pile resolve into two: “might is right” (the dragon will fight you for it) or “finders keepers” (even the pirates are gone, and all that is left is their treasure, and the treasure map.)

      There is no social pressure on the winner or finder to share the wealth.
      ‘Twas his, now ’tis mine; it has been slave to thousands before and now serves me alone.

    4. OBloodyHell Says:

      Oh, yes. I have long maintained that the Left is unfortunately deluded by the Scrooge McDuck theory of wealth.

      They think being rich means you “have a money bin somewhere that you keep all your wealth in, and swim in it, and throw it into their air to splash back on your head…” (Never mind that this would be quite painful, really, especially multiple times).

      Once you start listening to them, you realize, that this IS the underlying methodology of how they think wealth works.

      They have no grasp of the idea of managing money, that it is actual work

      Yes, you can hire someone to “manage” your money for you, but if you ignore it, then you’ll find out your money is in a bank in Aruba that you don’t have access to and you are out on the street looking through garbage cans for food. The biggest trick of managing “serious” money is making more of it with it, rather than losing it steadily. Among other things, this is why Lotto winners so often wind up far worse off, five years down the road, than they were before they won. They have no concept of what it means to be wealthy, and so have no training or instincts as to how to keep said wealth… meanwhile, all their friends and acquaintances suddenly think they should share said wealth and you’re a right bastard to refuse.

    5. Assistant Village Idiot Says:

      @ Pouncer – an astute observation that I had not quite thought through. I commented years ago on an Ilya Somin post at Volokh Conspiracy “Lord of the Rings is really about property law.” Great fun, and I think it will build on what you just put forward here.

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