So I'm at Abbie's Baccaleurate Mass Friday evening. Some doofus was in the front row, wearing a long-sleeve Michigan State t-shirt. It was one of those things that would make a good Seinfeld diner conversation: Jerry: "He was wearing a MSU shirt." Elaine: "I don't see what's the big deal?" Jerry: "It's a University of Michigan graduation Mass!" Elaine: "So? It's not like people are there to see him." Jerry: "It's not a big deal. In fact, it's a small deal, but it is a deal. Who does that?" I wasn't the only one to notice. I said to my son Jack (who doesn't attend UM), "Is it me, or is that dude a doofus for wearing a MSU shirt to this?" Jack nodded, laughed, and said, "I later saw him take out his laptop at the reception and it had a Bernie bumper sticker on it." That piece of information put it all together for me.
Speaking of the Bern, I wonder how his young supporters feel about socialism after they learned it was going to cause an entire country to run out of beer? Surely, that doesn't sit well with the Leftists in our country? Then again, they'd probably just conclude, "If I were the Socialist President, I'd just take over a bunch of breweries and make the beer myself, pay exorbitant salaries to hire good workers and master brewers, then sell the beer at a steep discount so everyone could enjoy it." It would be a great plan: Everyone sees the good, cheap beer, but they don't see the massive market disruptions policies like those create.
There's an interesting summary of the history of Venezuelan politics and economics at the Anarkhon sub-Reddit site that struck me as pretty good. I can't vouch for it, but went ahead and pasted it to the TDE Annex (so you don't have to scroll through the conversation thread at Reddit to find it). It's basically the same old story: People who don't want to produce, steal. Whether it's a petty criminal with a knife or the central government, it's ultimately the same thing. The only difference between the Mafia and a centralized government is that the Mafia has a far lesser reach.
So why do I care if people patronize TDE? I mean, am I really hurting for money that badly? No, I'm not. And truth be told, my return from Amazon referrals covers my annual hosting charges and leaves me with just a few gallons of good vodka annually. It's not much, but I've always found it rewarding. It turns out, I'm not alone. I listened to an interview with Chris Guillebeau on The Tom Woods Show last month, and he pointed out everyone who earns a small amount of money off a "side pursuit" finds that small amount more rewarding than the much larger sums they earn from their regular job.
I was impressed enough by the podcast to buy a used copy of Guillebeau's The $100 Startup. I thought my older sons might want to read it so they can start thinking more like entrepreneurs, but instead, Max (12) jumped on it and read it in five days. He's fired up to start an online business. I suggested illicit whiskey selling might be an easy money-maker, but his parochial school priest nixed the idea as a class project.
Big day today: Feast Day of St. Athanasius. It caused me to take Robert Payne's The Holy Fire off the shelf yesterday and start reading it again. I have plugged this book many times (link to mini-review), so I won't do so again here. Suffice it to say, it's possibly the best saint book of all time.