[ExI] anti-capitalist propaganda, was: retrainability of plebeians

spike spike66 at att.net
Tue May 12 01:29:21 UTC 2009

> 2009/5/12 spike <spike66 at att.net>:
> >> ...On Behalf Of Stathis Papaioannou
> >> ...
> >> I know a lot of people with minimal funds who blow them on 
> drugs;...
> >
> > Ja, this I do not buy however, for if a poor young person 
> is using the 
> > really high-end stuff like cocaine, she must be either 
> stealing or dealing.
> But students spend money on things that are a lot more 
> expensive than drugs, like overseas holidays...

I do confess I am puzzled at how students today afford overseas holidays.  I
don't recall that being done when I was in high school, but that is the
point: back in the late 70s, which is the timeframe 0bama was describing,
the minimum wage was 2.90 an hour, and cocaine was about 100 bucks a gram,
which represents a week's pay.

> Do you mistrust all backpackers?...

Not at all; I am one myself.  But that doesn't cost much.  Again, things are
different now.  One seldom sees hitchhikers.  Did any of you guys used to do
that?  I did.  Backpacking is an excellent value for one's limited funds, in
enjoyment per dollar.  Part of the reason I backpack is that I am a natural

> ...Well, their employer pays them $1000 a week net and they have 
> $1000 a week to spend or save as they choose...

A thousand a week?  We were discussing minimum wage earners.  Those guys are
good for about 300 a week, ja?  I haven't the foggiest clue what cocaine is
worth today.  Anyone know?  Normal inflation might not apply to that stuff,
since it is supply driven.  Hell maybe it is relatively a lot cheaper now.
Of course the time in question is 1979.

> If a student gets by on less than a few hundred dollars a 
> week, I don't think it's reasonable to assume he must be a 
> thief unless proved otherwise. It would be different if he 
> owned expensive sports cars, or something... Stathis Papaioannou

Ja, again we are making the specific case of cocaine, a special case of
conspicuous consumption.  Back in the depression (the original recipe, not
this one) we heard urban legends of bankers smoking cigars wrapped in
hundred dollar bills.  I don't know if that really ever happened.  If we saw
a big Hollywood star today smoking 100 dollar bill wrapped cigars, we would
think nothing of it, or saw a teenager smoking normal cigars, no law against
that.  But if an unemployed indolent teen is smoking 100s, we know something
is up bigtime.  Cocaine is (and was back then) the equivalent of smoking

You do make a thought-provoking point.  Plane tickets have gone waay down
relative to minimum wage since thirty years ago, waaaaay down.  I recall
flying across the country for a bit over 800 bucks in 1979, from college.  I
recently bought a round-trip from SF to New York for 370.  Minimum wage has
more than tripled in that time.

Stathis, do you have a theory on how the fearless reader managed to snort
cocaine without a job?  I do.


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