AZA held his annual holiday party at his SoHo loft Friday evening. Most of the team was there, MSM had to regret due to his leadership on the Marcellus Shale Hydrofracking. The host asked guests to bring suggestions for refining Observer’s 7 Dec humorous comment posted on “Lies About Federal Workers” concerning “The Truman Show.” After much discussion, the team voted 7 to 6 (some wanted to toss rocks and whack moles) to request that EMR post the revised version. Observer participated and hearty endorses the refinements.


As intelligent as many of Dr. Bacon’s insights are, he may have who is shielding what from whom bass-ackwards:

Bacon claims that ‘The Political Class’ in the National Capital SubRegion is ‘insulated’ from the issues facing citizens and Organizations in the rest of the nation-state.

That seems to be incorrect:

“The rest of the nation” has been intentionally insulated from reality, not the other way around.

Many believe that what Bacon calls “The Political Class” is really “The Business-As-Usual Class” (aka ,The BAU Class).

The BAU Class is a vast Agency / Enterprise / Institution Complex (aka, conspiracy) that includes:

1. Governance practitioners in the Agencies at the federal, state and municipal scales – especially pandering politicians and those who work for them

2. Entrepreneurs in Enterprises that depend on Mass OverConsumption to raise THEIR boats, THEIR stock, THEIR McMansions…

3. Leaders of Institutions (political parties, PACs, think tanks, etc.) that depend on the flow of money from Agencies, Enterprises and from those citizens and Households at the top of food chain. Many Institution-supporting entities feed money to Institutions to preserve the status quo because they see no reason to derail their gravy train.

So the real story is that the BAU Class has INSULATED the citizens and Organizations across the nation – and across the Planet – from reality. The reality of finite limits and the pitfalls of jingoism, partisan bickering, xenophobia, the Wealth Gap and YES, deficits are unrecognized. In fact ignorance is glorified in the name of patriotism and freedom.

Citizens collectively have no idea how to address the objectives and strategies they should be concerned with – especially the overarching goal:

Achieving an economic, social and physical trajectory that is sustainable.

Instead there is The Anger of Ignorance protests, Whack a Mole politics with all sides Tossing Rocks at Empty Pigeonholes (TRAPE).

The BAU Class is standing in the way of the information that citizens need to make intelligent decisions in the voting booth and in the marketplace. PROPERTY DYNAMICS is one path to follow but even information on this core interest of the vast majority of Households is being distorted and swept under the rug. Thus the need for Citizen Media.

Without their consent, most citizens are now cast members in a continent-wide, real-time, tragedy “The Reagan Show.” What exists for most is an updated “The Truman Story” that has portrays the life of Reagan Everyman in place of Truman Burbank.

It was the great communicator himself that convinced citizens that they could have it all because it was Morning in America. Everyone could thrive in Seaside or Celebration – technicolor versions of “Pleasantville.” They could all live where they wanted, drive what they wanted, spend what they wanted. The ever-growing economy, driven by the gracious and altruistic spending of the rich. would raise all boats.

It was Reagan who tossed a wet blanket on the flickering candle of intelligence that was ignited by understanding of what the 1973 OPEC Oil Embargo REALLY meant.


(Note: a number of other ideas surfaced at AZA’s fete – The existence of The Spacial Bipolar Disorder, and others – that will be included in the survey of Citizen Media, forthcoming.)

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14 responses to “THE REAGAN SHOW”

  1. Anonymous Avatar

    You forgot the most important part of the Moring in America promise:

    The more you consume, the better off we all are.

    In other words Mass OverConsumption is our salvation… unitl it is our downfall.

    (Sorry I missed the Party.)


  2. Try telling that to a billion or so who are suffering from massive underconsumption.

  3. Anonymous Avatar

    "The more you consume, the better off we all are."

    Yes indeed.

    And how about the 911 message from Bush 43 — "GO SHOPPING"


  4. well the Supreme Court pretty much destroyed any ability that citizens might have in affecting government when they allowed any/all anonymous money to be used in political campaigns.

  5. And where do they get the money? From us.

    All we have to do is stop spending. Go back to the land and live sustainable subsistence farming.

    Of course, that pretty much precludes urban living.

  6. James A. Bacon Avatar
    James A. Bacon

    I agree with most of what AZA has to say. Americans *are* insulated from the consequences of MassOverconsumption. If AZA would read "Boomergeddon," he would see that I regard mass overconsumption and the indebtedness it leads to as one of the fundamental problems this country faces, and I urge all citizens to reprioritize their personal values and revolt against the idea that MassOverconsumption is the route to happiness and fulfillment.

    Of course, it is in the interest of the Business As Usual crowd to perpetuate Mass OverConsumption because that's how they make their money. Likewise, it is in the interest of the political class (the people who make their money through the use of government power to transfer wealth) to perpetuate Mass OverConsumpion as well. More people working harder = more economic activity = more tax revenue = more money for the political class to redistribute. That, and the fact that the Business As Usual crowd hires the mercenary Political Class to do its bidding.

    The existence of a Business As Usual class is not inconsistent with the existence of a Political Class. Indeed, the two feed the other.

    But here's my key point: The Business As Usual class would never exercise so much power, and the country would not be in the fix it is in, were it not for the fact that government is so big, intrusive and all powerful. Business As Usual accomplishes what it does by manipulating the levers of power through the intermediation of the Political Class.

  7. "….that's how they make their money. …….More people working harder…….."


    And this is a bad thing?

  8. "The Business As Usual class would never exercise so much power, and the country would not be in the fix it is in, were it not for the fact that government is so big, intrusive and all powerful. Business As Usual accomplishes what it does by manipulating the levers of power through the intermediation of the Political Class."


    And if government was not as powerful as it is the Buusiness as Usual classs would be free to run roughshod over us.

    That is WHY government is as big as it is and why it probably needs to be much bigger.

    Total Cost = Production Cost + External Cost + Government Cost.

    Advocating reduction in the Government Cost term by itself will not necessarily result in lowering the Total Cost, which is the true bill we pay.

  9. "….more than half of U.S. imports are inputs (industrial supplies, raw materials and capital goods) that were purchased this year by U.S. firms and will become part of some production process in the U.S. that will help support or create jobs in the U.S. Why shouldn't we have a goal to double imports over the next five years, …."

    MJ Perry

  10. "….the story begins with a series of papers that Richard Easterlin wrote between 1973 and 2005, claiming that economic growth is unrelated to life satisfaction. In fact, these papers simply show he failed to definitively establish such a relationship. In our 2008 Brookings Paper, Betsey [Stevenson] and I systematically examined all of the available happiness data, finding that the relationship was there all along: rising GDP yields rising life satisfaction. More recent data reinforces our findings. ….."

    Justin Wolfers, in Freakonomics.

  11. Anonymous Avatar

    "But here's my key point: The Business As Usual class would never exercise so much power, and the country would not be in the fix it is in, were it not for the fact that government is so big, intrusive and all powerful. Business As Usual accomplishes what it does by manipulating the levers of power through the intermediation of the Political Class."

    In general I agree BUT it is not BIG that is the core problem it is a misallocation of power and responsibility by SCALE. Too much power, too far from those who have to pay the bills and suffer the insults of PORK, etc.

    That is why Dr. Risse is so concerned with Citizen Media. Until citizens have the information they need, they will continue to make decisions that are not in their own best interest in the voting booth and in the marketpalce.


  12. But at the same time, Risse supports the idea of a more urban society, which we KNOW has the characteristic of moving power farther away from the people. "that's Life in the Big City", we say, shrugging our shoulders at the slights and indignities it hands us.

    Such aphorisms don't get that way by accident.

    In Game theory, the core of large games converge to the competitive equilibria. (think of the end game in Monopoly)..For any other allocation, some group will exercise their right to leave because they are not getting their just deserts. It is natural that society should allow such groups to to leave the large society to live on their own and form smaller communities.

    They exercise this right if they feel their contributions are insufficiently rewarded – that is, if they can do better on their own. Thus, it is entirely natural and expected for large urban areas ( the ultimate economic games) to generate diaspora. As I see it, that is a problem with Jim Bacon’s idea that we will somhow stop or reverse tht process, and have a more urban society. If it happens, we will very soon find that it has unforseen costs, just as sprawl has had.

    And all of this is driven by the earge to be rewarded, and to consume, just as Wolfers suggests.

    What Risse is really saying, is that until they have the information HE THINKS they should have and until they process that information as HE THINKS they should or will.

    Even if I agree with him, the UNTIL word is a problem. It is going to take a very long time, if ever, to educate people to Risses standards.

    In the meantime, we have to make the best decisions we can with the inforamtion and political power we have —- NOW. Some of them may prove to be wrong in the long run, like killing off the passenger pigeons, but just as long term profits are the sum of the short term ones, so is long term sustainability.

  13. Anonymous Avatar

    Why isn't government, federal, state and local, viewed as the biggest over-consumers in the nation? Government, including Fairfax County, has increased spending at rates that well-exceed the rate of growth in income.


  14. Because, tmt, that simply is not true. Subtract two unfounded wars, and govt is cheaper than ever. You would not compare today's Camry to a 1960 fairlane, would you?

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